Still battling on three fronts as the season approaches its final stretch, Manchester
United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted that he is finding it is tough to rotate his squad with players keen to play in every match.
Following the Champions league first-leg draw with Real Madrid, Ferguson made several changes as United progressed past Reading into the quarterfinals of the FA Cup on Monday. Nani was the star of the show in the victory, but his lack of first team action has seen Ferguson admit that he is struggling to persuade the Portugal winger to sign a new deal.
And, ahead of a trip to face Queens Park Rangers on Saturday, the veteran boss has said that Nani is not the only player unhappy to not be playing more.
“I have a lot of disappointed players,” he said, according to Manchester United’s official website.
“Against Real Madrid they all wanted to play and that’s fantastic—it’s a measure of their faith and confidence in themselves.
“And I thought they acquitted themselves well against Reading. Their hunger and attitude to the game was great and we deserved to go through.”
Other than two meaningless Champions League defeats with their group already won, United have now gone an incredible 21 matches unbeaten and, while he will not yet discuss the prospect of a treble, Ferguson believes that his players realize it could be a special season.
“At this club, and particularly in the situation we’re in at the moment, anything can happen in the run-in,” he added. “Players can suddenly find themselves playing in a final or an important league game because that’s the squad I have.
“I think they sense this could be a big year for them.”
Ferguson has confirmed that Phil Jones is the only absentee for QPR’s visit, after the versatile England international picked up an ankle injury in the 2-1 win over Reading.
It is looking increasingly unlikely that QPR’s massive gamble to spend big in January in order to try and secure Premier League survival will pay off.
Harry Redknapp’s side have gone five league matches without a win and while they have only lost one of those games, draws are not enough in their predicament. QPR currently lay seven points from safety ahead of the visit of the runaway league leaders.
Redknapp will be sweating on the fitness of Loic Remy, who is still recovering from a groin injury. Full-back Fabio, on-loan from Manchester United is ineligible, but Junior Hoilett and Samba Diakite have both been passed fit.
D: Onuoha, Hill, Samba, Traore
M: Derry, Mbia
Wright-Phillips, Taarabt, Townsend
Manchester United (probable)
G: De Gea
D: Rafael, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra
M: Carrick, Cleverley
Valencia, Kagawa, Welbeck
F: Van Persie
Prediction: While struggling to score goals, QPR had at least been tight at the back, before, that is, a 4-1 defeat to Swansea last time out. Redknapp is sure to focus on a disciplined performance without the ball on Saturday, but with Ferguson set to field a strong side, they are unlikely to be able to keep United at bay. If Remy is ruled out, the visitors’ defense may also enjoy a quiet day at the office.
QPR 0-2 Manchester United
Where to watch: The Barclays Premier League match will kick-off at 10 a.m. ET. Coverage will be provided by the Fox Soccer Channel, with a delayed online stream available on Fox Socceer 2Go.