BASEL vs MANCHESTER UTD
MANCHESTER UNITED manager Sir Alex Ferguson insists striker Wayne Rooney won’t be sidetracked by tomorrow’s Uefa disciplinary hearing into his three-match international suspension and is fully focused on tonight’s Champions League assignment against Basel.
Rooney is set to learn whether his appeal against the three-game ban handed down for his dismissal in England’s Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro in October has been successful.
The verdict will determine whether or not Rooney will miss the entire group stage of next summer’s tournament, but Ferguson insists the 26-year-old is fully focused on the task in hand, as United look to secure the point that will guarantee their place in the knockout stages of Europe’s premier club competition.
“I don’t think that comes into it at all,” said Ferguson when asked if the hearing was likely to affect Rooney’s focus. “He has a game tomorrow. An important game.
“The pressure won’t affect us. Look at the number of big games these players play in. It is another big game, but we have a strong squad and that squad will see us through without question.”
Manchester United will reach the last 16 as long as they win or draw in Switzerland, but can only top the group if Benfica, who have already qualified, fail to beat whipping boys Otelul Galati at home. Defeat would eliminate Sir Alex Ferguson’s team, regardless of other results. The Premier League title-holders would win the group with a draw if Benfica lose.