No chance of Roma repeat – Ferguson

That astounding 7-1 success remains the only time United have

successfully overturned a first-leg deficit since the Champions

League was launched in 1992. The first-leg scoreline then was 2-1

too, so there are obvious parallels for Ferguson to draw. But the

performance on that never-to-be-forgotten evening was so

staggering, the United boss cannot see any point in using it as a

motivational tool. “I haven’t thought about the Roma game,” he

said. “They were probably equal to what Bayern are now in terms of

ability and it was one of those performance you hope you could see

every week. But you don’t. “It was a once-in-a-lifetime European

performance. The scoreline suggests that. “The thing is to make

sure the performance level is good. That makes a difference to the

supporters and the players’ belief and confidence. “From there we

can start gathering ourselves again.” A tough task will be made

even harder if Wayne Rooney is not available to play some part. The

United teamsheet will be eagerly awaited an hour before kick-off

given the slightly mixed message on Rooney that Ferguson delivered

in his pre-match press conference. Although the United boss claimed

last Friday that the 34-goal striker would be missing for between

two and four weeks with the ankle injury he suffered in the last

minute of the first-leg defeat to Bayern last Tuesday, rumours

surfaced pretty quickly that Rooney could be in action far quicker

than that. Ferguson did at first reject the notion of an appearance

in the return outright, insisting Rooney had “no chance” of being

involved. However, within seconds, Ferguson was tempering his words

slightly, saying he didn’t “think” Rooney would be on the bench,

before adding that he expected the 24-year-old to try and change

his mind. Any chance, however slight, of Rooney being involved,

will be seized upon by supporters desperate for some good news at

the end of a dismal week that will see their European aspirations

brought to an end by Bayern unless United can overturn the deficit.

“He has no chance,” began Ferguson. “We have made some good

progress with the lad and the medical team have done fantastic.

“But I am not prepared to take a risk on a player who is not 100%

fit. They are looking more at the Manchester City game, maybe

Blackburn as a substitute. That is possible. “But it is an ankle

injury, the same as any other. He is no different to anyone else.”

Asked directly whether Rooney could be on the bench, Ferguson

replied: “I don’t think so, although he will maybe talk me into it.

It is a difficult one.”