Scholes returns for Villa encounter

Scholes returns for Villa encounter

Published Apr. 13, 2012 1:00 a.m. ET

Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed Paul Scholes will feature for Manchester United against Aston Villa at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Ferguson has defended his decision to rest the veteran midfielder for Wednesday's shock defeat at Wigan, which has allowed Manchester City back into the title race.

Scholes' absence was only temporary, however, and he will face Villa this weekend as the Red Devils look to consolidate their five-point advantage.

"Paul has shown his influence since he came back but I did the right thing to rest him on Wednesday," Ferguson said.


"He will be fresh on Sunday and he will play."

Ferguson confirmed his squad had suffered no fresh injuries for the encounter with Villa, another side managed by one of his former players, Alex McLeish.

The Villa fans have not exactly taken McLeish to their hearts due to his association with bitter rivals Birmingham.

However, Ferguson is delighted with the manner McLeish has handled a tricky situation as he tries to reduce a massive wage bill.

"Alex had a rough first year at the club, not being able to buy players and selling a few," said Ferguson.

"It makes it difficult if you get injuries and he has had a couple of bad ones in losing (Richard) Dunne and (Darren) Bent, whose goals were a big loss.

"He has a lot of criticism from the fan base at Villa Park but he has handled the whole pressure very well.

"He is a very capable manager and I hope everything is all right for him."

Although Ferguson is not endorsing the view of City manager Roberto Mancini that there is not enough time for the Blues to come back, he does believe Wednesday's defeat should be put into context of an overall run that brought United 34 points from their previous 12 games.

"We have to put it in a bit of perspective," he said.

"You drop points in the second half of the season. We have done it most years. There has been an odd year when we have gone on a long run without losing but a couple of years back we lost 4-1 to Liverpool and won the league.

"You do drop points on the run-in. City and ourselves have both experienced that.

"But from the position we were in a few months ago, to where we are today, we have to be delighted.

"The great part of our club is that we do recover, and we have to recover from Wednesday."