Scholes unfazed by United injury woes

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The Independent Online

Paul Scholes insists Manchester United's injury woes will not have a negative effect on their performance against Wolfsburg tonight.

United require a point to be certain of topping Champions League Group B but travelled to Germany without 14 senior players.

While Sir Alex Ferguson has rested Ryan Giggs, he is also missing 13 players through injury, including all his defenders with the exception of Patrice Evra.

Ferguson is trying to persuade Evra to slot into a central defensive role alongside Michael Carrick, even though the Frenchman will be giving almost a foot away to Wolfsburg danger-man Edin Dzeko.

Darron Gibson could be another alternative but either way, the changes appear to leave United woefully exposed.

However, Scholes does not believe it is a situation his team-mates should be concerned about.

"It doesn't change too much," said Scholes.

"We always try to play the same way no matter who is in the team.

"Sometimes you have to fill positions you are not used to. There are 19 players here and I am sure we can cope."

It was a more upbeat assessment than Ferguson could manage, having drafted in five youngsters from his B list of Champions League players, including Oliver Gill, son of chief executive David.

"Wolfsburg will be delighted we have so many injuries," admitted Ferguson.

"I know we might come second in the group but I am not sure whether it really makes much difference.

"The one issue is that if you finish second you have to play the first leg of your knock-out round at home but that is all."

It is rare for Ferguson to adopt such a defeatist attitude, although underneath the Scot's fierce competitive instinct will ensure United give their best.

Beyond question though, Ferguson's mind is wandering to Saturday's encounter with Aston Villa and how many of his injury victims might return.

John O'Shea and Jonny Evans have no chance but Nemanja Vidic should have shrugged off his flu virus.

However, the only other potential comeback to face Villa is Wes Brown, who limped out of Saturday's win at West Ham in the final minute with a hamstring injury.

"We hope we can get Wes fit but it is not going to be an easy one," said the United boss.

"That is my concern at the moment; getting players back from injury.

"I have to look at the bigger picture at this stage. I have to look at Saturday and future league games after that.

"The truth is we have already qualified from this group."

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