Football: Sheringham hoping to revive his United career

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The Independent Online
THE STAGE is set for Teddy Sheringham to get his Manchester United career back on track against his former club Tottenham at White Hart Lane tonight.

Sheringham needs a good performance in the Worthington Cup quarter-final to persuade his manager, Alex Ferguson, he is the man to partner Dwight Yorke in attack.

The England striker has started just two games this season, both in the Champions' League, and the last of those was on 30 September against Bayern Munich.

Sheringham has found himself out of favour in the cut-throat battle for striking places at Old Trafford, while he has also missed a large chunk of the campaign with damaged knee ligaments. Sheringham has now recovered from that injury and he made his comeback as a substitute in Sunday's victory over Leeds.

Now he is ready for his third start of the season and Ferguson said: "Teddy Sheringham will figure against Tottenham."

Ryan Giggs, another who is fit again after breaking a bone in his foot, will play and the Norwegian duo of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Henning Berg are also expected to feature.

Ferguson has used his second string in the Worthington Cup and he knows his team face a difficult tie against George Graham's side.

He realises that this game will be his fledglings' toughest challenge yet after wins over Bury and Nottingham Forest.

"Under George, Spurs have got their show on the road a bit," he said. "Even though they lost on Saturday, going to West Ham is always a difficult game. They have some excellent players and they seem to be a bit fitter now, so it's going to be really tough for us."

Ronny Johnsen, who has missed United's last five games with an ankle injury, could be fit enough to play, while teenagers Jonathan Greening and Mark Wilson stand by for their third outings in the competition. Other youngsters, like Phil Mulryne, John Curtis and Michael Clegg, are also likely to play.

The Blackburn caretaker manager, Tony Parkes, will be without Chris Sutton for tonight's quarter-final at Leicester. Sutton has completed a four- match ban but is still troubled with injury. To make matters worse for Parkes, recent pounds 4m buy Nathan Blake is cup-tied.

That leaves the door open for the club record signing, Kevin Davies, to start alongside the Scottish international Kevin Gallacher. Blackburn are still missing long-term absentees Tim Sherwood, Tim Flowers, Billy McKinlay, Jason Wilcox and Garry Flitcroft. But French midfielder Sebastien Perez, out for a couple of months with a knee problem, is back.

"We need a win somehow and from somewhere," admitted Parkes, who knows a cup win would boost confidence for the long battle against relegation that lies ahead.

"This is another massive game for us and we will be treating it with the importance of a League fixture. Any competition that offers you Wembley and the possibility of Europe is big," he added.

Blackburn will again include a trio of teenagers in wingers Damien Duff and Damien Johnson, and midfielder David Dunn. Blake drops out of the squad that was on duty at Liverpool on Sunday, while the centre-back Darren Peacock is still missing with a broken toe.

The Blackburn chief executive, John Williams, insists that the club has drawn up a short list and is making "good progress" in the bid to find a successor to Roy Hodgson.

But Rovers' options appeared to have narrowed. The former Ewood Park hero Colin Hendry has distanced himself from a return in a player-manager role by pledging his future to Rangers and the Manchester United chairman, Martin Edwards, will not allow Rovers to talk to Brian Kidd.