Anderson admits to frustrations at Manchester United

The Brazilian has endured a stop start career at Old Trafford

Anderson accepts it has been two steps forward and three back for too much of his Manchester United career.

The midfielder made only his 12th start of the season in United's 2-1 FA Cup triumph over Reading at Old Trafford last night.

This time it has been niggling injuries that have caused his frustrations, not the big ones that have blighted Anderson's six seasons at the club.

With the potential for a starting slot against Real Madrid up for grabs in a fortnight unless Phil Jones recovers from the ankle injury that forced him off last night, Anderson can now only hope to stay fit.

"When I take two steps forward I seem to take three back," he said.

"It is sad but I have to do my job. I need to play games and not to have any injuries."

For virtually three seasons now it has been claimed United are short of midfield firepower.

Anderson has all the attributes to do the job required, but has never stayed fit long enough to do himself justice at the level Sir Alex Ferguson requires.

"I have had some problems. But when I don't have these problems I know my quality," he said. "I know I can play."

The former Porto man was at his bustling best last night, helping drive United towards a victory that keeps their treble quest on track in addition to booking a sixth round meeting with either Chelsea or Middlesbrough.

And it was an even more peripheral member of the Red Devils squad who was the catalyst.

Nani arrived at virtually the same time as Anderson, and spent two years operating in the vast shadow of Cristiano Ronaldo before starting to flourish once his fellow countryman had left for Real Madrid.

This season though, the winger's chances have been strictly limited.

Amid much-publicised contract wrangling, the pending arrival of Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace and interest from Zenit St Petersburg, it has been widely assumed Nani's time at Old Trafford was drawing to a close.

However, it was his contribution that tipped the balance in his side's favour against a plucky Reading outfit, scoring the first and setting up a second for Javier Hernandez to confirm that last eight berth.

"Everyone knows Nani's quality," said Anderson.

"He is one of the good players in a squad full of them.

"The boss can change it all the time. That is the way it should be at Manchester United."

The setback came from Jones' injury.

Although Ferguson has already ruled the England international out of Saturday's trip to QPR, unless it proved serious enough to give the former Blackburn man no chance of being involved, Ferguson could well choose to offer vague assessments of Jones' likely recovery time, leaving Jose Mourinho guessing about his availability for Champions League duty on March 5.

If Jones does not make it, Ferguson would be left with a significant gap in his planning given there are no obvious alternatives in midfield who offer such a heavy defensive emphasis and United's form this season suggests they will require reinforcements in that area.

Anderson can only hope to keep himself in Ferguson's plans, although he accepts it is not easy when he misses so many games.

"It is difficult," he said.

"Some players haven't played for two or three weeks and it is hard.

"But this is Manchester United. All the players want to play, me and others."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Sainsbury's could roll the lorries out across its whole fleet if they are successful
tech
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmHe was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
Arts and Entertainment
'Old Fashioned' will be a different kind of love story to '50 Shades'
film
Life and Style
fashionHealth concerns and 'pornified' perceptions have made women more conscious at the beach
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Arts and Entertainment
Smart mover: Peter Bazalgette
filmHow live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences
Environment
Neil Young performing at Hyde Park, London, earlier this month
environment
News
i100
News
Prince Harry is clearing enjoying the Commonwealth Games judging by this photo
people(a real one this time)
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz