Last updated : 09 January 2005 By Editor

He continues:

"We had Roy Keane out for a year, Ruud missed a year before he joined us and Wes Brown has missed two years. Rio Ferdinand was suspended for eight months, but you cope. You have to cope. You can't afford to be sunk by one disaster.

"The injuries to Ruud van Nistelrooy and Louis Saha are the ones we could do without, but nonetheless the squad is strong," he said. "We have some young players around which gives you that freshness. That gives you legs, and I think we can handle the demands of the run-in.

"I would expect to see Louis Saha back around about the 17th or 18th of January. That is the time scale for him. He is coming along fine and is doing his running. Since the start of the month we have had him out on the pitch and surely by the 18th he should be back."