• Premier League

Sir Alex rues Hargreaves injury

ESPNsoccernet staff
November 6, 2010
Owen Hargreaves played just five minutes before trudging down the tunnel © Getty Images

Sir Alex Ferguson labelled Owen Hargreaves' latest injury a "disaster" after Manchester United struck a last-gasp winner to beat Wolves 2-1 at Old Trafford.

Hargreaves, making his first start for the club in over two years, only lasted five minutes before coming off with a hamstring injury. Park Ji-Sung hit the winner in injury time to prevent United slipping further behind Chelsea in the title race.

And with the Manchester derby looming large on Wednesday, Ferguson was delighted to get three points on the board with something of a depleted team.

"We have done really well to get a result,'' Ferguson said. "You have to admire the perseverance of the team because we have done it so many times. But it was a long struggle today because we made so many changes.''

Ferguson revealed skipper Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra and Paul Scholes had all been suffering from a flu virus that even kept the Scot away from training on Friday. It led him to take a chance on the fitness of Owen Hargreaves, which backfired badly as he lasted just five minutes on his first start since September 2008 after suffering a hamstring injury.

"We took a gamble with Owen Hargreaves,'' Ferguson said. "We thought by doing that it would give us a compact midfield with experience. But he only lasted five minutes. It was a disaster.

"He has hurt his hamstring, which is unbelievable. It put us under the cosh. Patrice Evra, Paul Scholes and Nemanja Vidic were all feeling under the weather, then we had to bring Bebe on. He has potential but he is learning.

"What we needed was the patience to open them up because we were playing without a lot of players who can make a difference at that stage of the game. It is unfortunate we didn't get one earlier. Nevertheless, we will take it.''

Ferguson will have to conduct a body count on Monday before he can finalise his derby-day plans, although he cast doubt on the likelihood of Nani being fit after the Portugal winger suffered a groin injury against Bursaspor.

"The games are piling up,'' Ferguson added. "I don't think Nani will be fit on Wednesday but I hope Berbatov will be in to train on Monday.''

United can look ahead with tentative confidence, but Wolves must now face up to a midweek meeting with Arsenal cursing their luck after suffering a second late defeat at Old Trafford in 11 days.

Typically, Mick McCarthy took rather a forceful view of the situation. "That was harsh. Everyone knows we deserved something out of it,'' said McCarthy, whose side levelled Park's first-half strike through United old-boy Sylvan Ebanks-Blake midway through the second period.

"But we didn't get anything. Nowt. Diddly-squat. I could wax lyrical about the performance but I am not going to. We got nothing from the game. To do that after playing so well at Old Trafford could do some damage to us.''

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