MANCHESTER UNITED MANAGER Alex Ferguson is concerned about his options at centre-back ahead of the start of the Premier League season.
Ferguson voiced his defensive fears ahead of United’s opening game against Everton on Merseyside on 18 August.
Rio Ferdinand is fit and Nemanja Vidic has returned during pre-season from a long-term knee injury sustained in December, but elsewhere United have been plagued by problems.
Jonny Evans is recovering from an ankle operation he underwent in the summer, Chris Smalling will miss a further three months and Phil Jones picked up a back injury on tour in Norway. These issues resulted in the manager repeating his experiment of using Michael Carrick in the centre of defence for the friendly with Barcelona and he was pleased with how the central midfielder performed.
“Evans is recovering from an operation; Smalling is out for three months,” Ferguson told the club’s official website. ”Jones got a muscle injury in his back and was sent home from Norway.
“So the area we’re concerned about is centre-back. Evans won’t be ready for the start of the season. He won’t be far away but he won’t be ready.
“Smalling is out and I can’t give you an update with Jones because we’ve not fully diagnosed that. But Michael Carrick was absolutely brilliant (in Sweden) with his passing the ball and his interceptions. He was fantastic.”