Ferguson: Nani red card shook my faith, but Rooney will stay
Manchester United manager says he has cleared his head since the events of Tuesday night
EVENTS like Nani's red card for Manchester United against Real Madrid test your faith in football, Man United manager Alex Ferguson has said. But he insisted he had "cleared his mind" after the events of Tuesday night and was ready for the challenge of an FA Cup quarter final against Chelsea.
Speaking for the first time since his side's controversial exit from the Champions League, the veteran manager reflected on the defeat and pledged that his side would come back stronger.
He also declared that Wayne Rooney would remain a Manchester United player despite his omission against Real.
Ferguson hinted at some residual anger over the events of Tuesday night by revealing that he had banned two newspapers from the club over their coverage of the Rooney story. He said they would not be welcome at Old Trafford "until they apologise".
There were widespread reports this week that the striker would be sold in the summer after falling out with Ferguson. But he scotched those rumours, saying: "He'll be here next year. You can have my word on that. There is no issue between myself and Wayne Rooney. To suggest we don't talk is nonsense."
Ferguson explained that Danny Welbeck was selected ahead of Rooney to nullify the threat of Xabi Alonso, and expressed surprise at the reaction of the press. "I left out Shinji Kagawa after he scored a hat-trick. I thought I would get more stick for that," he declared.
The Manchester United manager also said that Rooney would play some part in the FA Cup match against Chelsea on Sunday, but declined to reveal if he would be in the starting line-up.
Reflecting on the red card for Nani he said: "It is hard to keep your faith when you have things like that."
However, as The Guardian reports, he added: "I've cleared my mind. It's just another day in the history of our club.
"We must galvanise the troops and our support: we owe them a good performance on Sunday."