In Brief

Ferguson to face questions on Rooney, red card and the ref

Manchester United boss will speak for the first time about Champions League exit this morning

MANCHESTER UNITED manager Alex Ferguson will speak to the media for the first time since his side's controversial Champions League exit at the hands Real Madrid today.

A press conference at Old Trafford has been called ahead of United's FA Cup quarter final clash with Chelsea on Sunday but is expected to be dominated by questions about the game against Real and the future of striker Wayne Rooney.

Ferguson was "distraught" after United's exit and is facing a Uefa charge after failing to attend a post-match press conference on Tuesday night. He sent deupty Mike Phelan instead and he told the media that the veteran manager was in "no fit state" to answer questions about the match.

However, Metro reports that he can "expect a grilling" over Rooney and the match itself this morning.

The game was overshadowed by the sending off of winger Nani, who was shown a straight red card after a high tackle on Real Madrid defender Alvaro Arbeloa. United were winning 1-0 at the time but ended up losing the game 2-1.

Ferguson ranted and raved at the officials after the decision and the last time the world saw him he was marching, grim-faced, down the Old Trafford touchline. It has been claimed that he avoided the post-match press conference because United realised that the punishment for a no-show would be far less than they could expect if Ferguson spoke his mind.

The match was also notable for Ferguson's decision to omit one of his biggest stars, Wayne Rooney, from the starting line-up. He was only named as a substitute and there has been fevered speculation ever since that he has fallen out of favour and will be sold in the summer.

Ferguson has a history of cutting short the Old Trafford careers of some of United's biggest stars, and the likes of David Beckham, Jaap Stam, Roy Keane and Ruud Van Nistelrooy have all been shown the door well ahead of their sell-by dates.

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