Scholes eyes more silverware

Scholes only made the bench at Wembley but, with Michael Carrick

suspended, there is a good chance he will be part of the starting

line-up for Wednesday’s Champions League tussle with AC Milan.

Boasting a 3-2 advantage from the first leg in Italy three weeks

ago, the Red Devils seem well placed to reach the last eight at the

expense of old team-mate David Beckham. And Scholes feels extra

confidence has been generated by the early capture of silverware.

“Winning a trophy is brilliant. It is what we aim to do every

season,” said the former England star. “The Carling Cup may not be

a priority when you set out but it is a big tournament these days.

“We wanted to win it. It is another medal and it meant a lot to us.

“It sets us up nicely and hopefully that will kick us on for the

rest of the season.” United are bidding to reach their third

Champions League final on the trot, but realise their last-16 tie

is not won yet. Although they emerged with a memorable victory at

the San Siro, everyone at Old Trafford is aware Milan could have

had the game wrapped up in the opening 40 minutes such was their

dominance. It took a rather fortuitous Scholes goal to bring United

back into the contest, his fifth of the season and 147th overall

for his only senior club. “I have got five goals this season now,

which is a big improvement on the last couple of years I suppose,”

said Scholes, who has still not told United whether he intends to

sign the one-year contract extension he has been offered. “It is

just nice to be playing. That is why you train all week.

“Thankfully I have had the chance to do that recently. Nobody likes

missing matches and it is going well for me at the minute.”

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Michael Owen. The

striker has endured a mixed first season at Old Trafford but at

least seemed to be over his injury concerns until Sunday, when he

pulled up in the first-half with a hamstring injury that has proved

serious enough to rule him out for the rest of the season. Aside

from missing the end of what is likely to be an exciting run-in,

Owen will also definitely miss the World Cup, which Scholes

believes is a loss to England. “I am sure he did harbour hopes of

going to the World Cup,” said the 35-year-old. “I know he has not

been in the squad for a while but I don’t think there is any better

English finisher around anywhere. “I would have liked to see him go

but that has gone out of the window for him now. It is a shame.”