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Fergie: Rio can handle abuse

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson does not believe Rio Ferdinand will be affected by any abuse from fans as a result of his recent withdrawal from the England squad.

Last Updated: 30/03/13 at 09:01 Post Comment

Sir Alex Ferguson (left): Backing Ferdinand to handle fans' abuse

Sir Alex Ferguson (left): Backing Ferdinand to handle fans' abuse

The 34-year-old defender was the subject of alleged racial abuse from England supporters during the recent World Cup qualifier from San Marino, which has led anti-racism campaigners FARE to report the Football Association to FIFA.

Ferguson believes the defender is strong enough to cope should he receive similar treatment from the stands while on duty with United.

"If there is criticism out there I don't think it will bother him," said Ferguson.

"In modern society there is always a venting of spleen against someone who displeases them at any particular moment in time. It will blow over quite quickly.

"Most people realise Rio's international career had been in doubt for a while anyway. He hadn't been picked for a few games."

Ferdinand cited his training programme as the reason for his England withdrawal and Ferguson defended his player's decision.

"The way our physio and sports science departments had been handling him has been correct," said Ferguson. "That has allowed him to have one of his best seasons. That is why Roy has picked him.

"But there is a way we treat Rio in terms of getting him ready for big matches.

"The programme we have got for him is detailed in the sense of the games he plays in and the type of training he does in the build-up to games.

"We don't play him in every game, as everyone knows. We try to have him ready for the games that really matter."

When asked whether Ferdinand would play for England again, Ferguson replied: "I couldn't tell you. I have not spoken to him about it.

"He has had issues with his back obviously. Age catches us all. There is no question about that. In football you don't grow old without penalties.

"Rio has lost that lightning speed he had five or six years ago. But he has adapted in a different way in the sense of how his game is.

"You have to adjust to the situation and Rio has done that very well."

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terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

T

he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

N

o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
Townsend: I've silenced critics

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