No transfers in January re-iterates Ferguson


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The Independent Football

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has reiterated he is not looking to make a move in the January transfer window unless a top player becomes available or his squad is further hit by injuries.

Ashley Young this week joined an extensive injury list that includes the likes of Nemanja Vidic, Anderson, Michael Owen and Tom Cleverley, while Darren Fletcher is also sidelined with a bowel condition.

However, Ferguson believes he has the strength in depth to cope and is not currently planning any January raids.

Writing in his programme notes for tomorrow's game against Wigan, Ferguson said: "All things being equal I am perfectly happy with the strength of our squad in terms of depth, quality and age range.

"I will not be swayed by the endless tweets and blogs urging the club to get busy in the transfer market next month.

"As far as I am concerned I am marching perfectly in step, true to my beliefs and principles. While recruiting some of the world's leading players can lift you into contention for honours, it doesn't necessarily take you all the way, as I hope we will be able to demonstrate before the end of the season as other factors come into play.

"You can never say never in football, of course, because fortunes can fluctuate wildly - that's the football world. If a really top-class player became available, then we would go for him, or if we picked up any further serious injuries, it might be important to add to our squad."

Meanwhile, Jonny Evans needs only to recall his loan spells at Sunderland to know that United could be in for a difficult Boxing Day against the Latics.

On the face of it, United's Christmas visitors should present few problems at Old Trafford - they are currently in the relegation zone, have never even managed a draw in 13 previous meetings, and the aggregate score from their last four encounters is 16-0.

Yet Roberto Martinez's men have lost just once in their last six games, including home draws with Chelsea and Liverpool, and they will make the short trip down the M6 free from any expectations.

And Evans is sure Wigan will arrive in Manchester ready to scrap for every ball.

"I was involved in a bit of a relegation battle at Sunderland," said Evans, who spent two half-seasons on Wearside in 2007 and 2008. "Against the big teams we actually tended to play a bit better.

"You relax a bit because the pressure's off and lift yourself. You are not expected to pick up points and obviously, that can help you.

"I know at the minute Wigan are near the bottom of the league but they have had some decent results in the last few weeks.

"They've drawn against both Liverpool and Chelsea and it is going to be tough."

Evans has also noted a change in philosophy among teams visiting Old Trafford, with a greater determination to go on the attack very much in evidence.

"When I used to watch as a fan I remember always thinking the away team never really tried to score," he said. "They'd just sit back and play one up front.

"There has been a bit of a shift in that philosophy over the last few years.

"Teams are coming to Old Trafford and thinking they may as well go for it."

United have already started their festive programme well, smashing five goals past Fulham on Wednesday following a convincing win at QPR the previous weekend.

However, with Manchester City on top form too, that form must be maintained, which could be bad news for both Wigan and rock-bottom Blackburn, who visit Old Trafford on New Year's Eve.