Moore: Crucial week coming up
AC Milan have rejected rumours linking Robinho with a move away
from the San Siro in January.
Reports have suggested Robinho’s former club Santos are keen to
bring the forward back to Brazil when the transfer window reopens
However, Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani insists they want
to keep the former Manchester City man.
“Robinho? Our intention is to keep him, then we will see,” he
told Sky Italia.
Galliani also rubbished rumours linking Milan with a move for
Brazilian sensation Neymar.
Galliani is a fan of Neymar and rates him as the best young
player in the world, alongside Milan’s Stephan El Shaarawy.
“No-one said that we want or that we could sign him,” added
Galliani. “I have only said, considering I see the world’s
football, that him and El Shaarawy are the strongest players aged
20. Nothing else.”
Galliani also revealed that they are unlikely to do any business
in January unless someone leaves as they need to sell to buy any
“There are 32 players in the squad, and if nobody leaves then
nobody will come in,” noted Galliani.
“We’ll have to sell first and then buy, otherwise we’ll stay as
Brass, 37, followed former Scunthorpe manager Alan Knill to the
club in March 2011 having worked as his number two at Bury. Knill
was sacked in October and replaced by Brian Laws, who brought Russ
Wilcox with him to work as one of his assistants.
“United can confirm that Chris Brass has left the club with
immediate effect,” read a short statement on the club’s official
“The difficult decision was taken to reduce costs going forward
as the club cannot sustain two assistant managers long term.
“The club would like to place on record its appreciation for all
the hard work Chris has put in during his time with the club and
wish him well for the future.”
Brass made his name as a defender during an eight-year spell
with Burnley and later went on to make over 150 appearances for
York before ending his league playing career at Bury.
Ferguson appeared to dash hopes of Nemanja Vidic returning to
lend a hand when he ruled the Serbian out of Wednesday’s Champions
League encounter with CFR Cluj at Old Trafford.
United need some sort of assistance, though. In conceding 32
goals so far this season, including three in quite awful fashion at
Reading on Saturday, Ferguson said he could not remember a time
when his side’s defence had been so leaky this side of
It was actually 2001-02, when United conceded 39 goals in their
first 23 games, and 41 before Santa made his way down the
Clearly, though, it is no laughing matter for Ferguson,
especially when he considers what is lying in wait on the other
side of town this weekend.
“It is a worry,” said Ferguson.
“If we perform like that on Sunday then God knows what’s going
to happen to us.
“We’ve lost 32 goals already – I can’t remember us losing so
many goals before Christmas.
“Saturday was like Cartoon Cavalcade and when you see City have
Balotelli, Dzeko – really tall players – it’s going to be a big
“It’s a concern. But that’s on Sunday. It’s five days away but
at this moment in time it feels like five months.”
Ferguson’s reasoning is that there are so many issues to resolve
by then, focusing on a game which is not right in front of him is
Yet, history suggests the United boss is not beyond clouding the
issue himself in order to suit his own ends.
So, whilst Ferguson’s words on Vidic’s readiness to play after
September knee surgery were clear enough, until the Serbian
actually fails to make the United squad, either tomorrow or at the
weekend, they will be greeted with some degree of scepticism.
“I don’t think Nemanja will play (tomorrow),” said Ferguson.
“He feels he needs another few days’ training so he won’t be
“He’s not far away. He’s training well now but I think another
few days will bring him on better.
“But if he doesn’t play tomorrow there’s no chance he’ll play in
the derby game, although I wasn’t considering Nemanja for Sunday
There is something contradictory about the last statement,
especially as the United boss also raised the potential for Shinji
Kagawa returning after two months out this weekend, even though
Vidic trained with the main group at Carrington this morning and
the Japan international did not.
“Kagawa started running today and may make the bench [against
City],” said Ferguson.
“The injury has taken longer than we thought but he’s much
The Red Devils are resigned to wide men Nani and Antonio
Valencia missing out, though, which is why Ferguson is likely to
use three strikers tomorrow, including Wayne Rooney.
More than once this season, Ferguson has raised the issue of
Rooney’s fitness after injury lay-offs.
And even though the England man’s most recent absence with
tonsillitis only amounted to two games in the middle of last month,
Ferguson is not intending the 27-year-old to be one of the star men
who gets a rest tomorrow.
“Wayne needs to play a lot of games to get his match-fitness
up,” he said.
“He’s a strongly built lad and when he misses two games it takes
him three games to come back.
“It’s the way he’s always been.
“He’ll play tomorrow night and hopefully that brings him on
further because Saturday was his best performance of the season so
The early-season pacesetters still hold first place, but only by
virtue of a superior goal difference to in-form Doncaster having
taken two points from the past nine on offer ahead of this
weekend’s trip to Sheffield United.
Medial ligament damage means captain James Wallace has joined
forward Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro and winger Abdulai Bell-Baggie on the
sidelines, while a host of key players, including Andy Robinson and
Joe Thompson, have only recently resumed first-team duties.
“We’ve been fantastic for the most of the early part of the
season,” said Moore. “Where we are is a tribute to everybody.
“The players have been fantastic. If somebody had said to us at
the start of the season ‘that’s where you’re going to be’, no one
would have believed it with the budget that we’re on and what we
have to work with.
“But they’ve been fantastic so there’s no pressure on us. We’re
not expected to be there, that’s the main thing.
“I think we’ve surprised nearly everybody this season, in our
“Everywhere you go people are talking about Tranmere Rovers and
how well they’re doing.
“When you pick up your injuries that’s when it gets tough
because you don’t have the depth. You haven’t got the wages to pay
to be able to have the depth.
“It’s going to hurt you when you pick up your knocks and that’s
what’s happened to us, unfortunately. We know this is a crucial
week for us.”