Premier League - Fergie forced to rest World Cup stars

Tue, 13 Jul 13:10:00 2010

Sir Alex Ferguson admits the majority of Manchester United's World Cup stars are unlikely to feature in the club's Premier League opener against Newcastle next month.

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England duo Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick, France and South Korea captains Patrice Evra and Park Ji-sung, Serbia defender Nemanja Vidic and new signing Javier Hernandez of Mexico were United's six representatives in South Africa.

Rio Ferdinand is hopeful of being fit for the start of the season after injury prevented him captaining England, while Nani was in the squad which flew out for a pre-season tour of America after being ruled out of Portugal's campaign.

Owen Hargreaves' long-term knee troubles meant he never entered Fabio Capello's thoughts, but a fresh injury setback will see him miss the start of the season.

"Winning is part of what we have to do here (in America) but the main object is to get everyone game time and come back ready, fit to start the season," Ferguson said at the start of his side's US tour.

"Even the Community Shield does not come into the agenda in terms of a need to win game.

"It's always been used at this club as the final part of our preparation.

"It's on August 8 and then they have internationals during that week, and then we have our first game the following Monday against Newcastle.

"By that time, after we've surveyed the fitness of the ones who've been in the World Cup because they don't come back until July 28, we'll really know whether any or all of them should play in the opening game.

"I have a feeling that we'll probably not play them all, but maybe one or two will play."

The Red Devils jetted off without any of the sextet for their pre-season tour of America, although Hernandez will link up with the squad on July 27 in time to face his former club Chivas three days later.

PA Sport

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