Wayne Rooney joins Phil Jones among Manchester United concerns
England striker to miss weekend clash against QPR
Wayne Rooney is set to miss Manchester United's Premier League meeting with basement dwellers QPR this weekend.
The England striker has missed most of training this week due to illness and the league leaders' in-house television channel, MUTV, reports that the striker is unlikely to travel to London for the match on Saturday.
Concerns over whether the striker will be fit for the visit of Real Madrid have been allayed, with the club confident he will line-up for the second-leg of the Champions League tie against their Spanish opponents.
However, the visit of Cristiano Ronaldo and co will likely come too soon for Phil Jones, with Sir Alex Ferguson confirming this morning that the enforcer has only an “outside chance” of being fit for the match on March 5.
Jones suffered an ankle injury during Monday's FA Cup win over Reading and is having intense treatment in the hope of being available for the Old Trafford encounter.
"We are working very hard. He has an outside chance for Real Madrid - no more than that," Ferguson said.
Jones will certainly miss the QPR match, and Ferguson knows his absence from the Real Madrid game would cause him a headache given how well the former Blackburn man performed in his task of keeping Ronaldo quiet in the first leg last week.
"He is a young man who went into a tackle too brave and was a bit off-balanced," said Ferguson.
"He certainly won't be fit for the weekend."
During today's press conference Ferguson repeated his mantra that, with United 12 points clear of Manchester City with 12 games remaining in the Barclays Premier League, destiny is very much in their own hands.
"The only way we can approach it is by taking care of each game and eventually we run out of matches," Ferguson said.
"I can understand from Manchester City's point of view why they are talking about us dropping points.
"But the fact of the matter is they will drop them as well."
It was also the first time Ferguson had spoken publicly since David Gill announced his intention to stand down as chief executive.
The United boss has had a close working relationship with Gill, who apparently mooted his exit some time ago.
"David spoke to me about it some weeks ago," Ferguson said.
"I was surprised because he is still a young man but I understand where he is coming from.
"Sixteen years in that particular job is not easy."
filmFilm producers sue Warner Bros for $75m over Hobbit films
sportNapoli 2 Arsenal 0: Gunners must now face either Real Madrid, PSG, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid or Barcelona in knock-out stages
Swedish stars ask fans for £195 pledges on crowd-funding website
voicesJust when you thought you could find a man, get married, and have a baby by the age of 35... it turns out you’re too late, says Grace Dent
musicAs Mariah Carey and Noddy Holder rake in the royalties from their classics, why there hasn't been a decent festive hit for 20 years?
theatreAuthor Daniel Rosenthal recalls the mishaps that almost brought the curtain down on the likes of John Gielgud and Diana Rigg
lifeAs the Royal Mail plans to phase out deliveries on two wheels, it's no wonder posties are in a spin
musicThe 21-year-old beat Ella Eyre and Chlöe Howl to win the honour
lifeFull of the joys and want to help your fellow man? December isn't the time to do it
techLuke Blackall reports on precision engineered prams and babygros that monitor your child 24-7
Latest in Sport
World Cup 2014: Football Manager developers predict the team of the tournament - but which England player makes it into the XI?
Roy Keane omits Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs from 'greatest' Manchester United team
Man cycles down water slide in incredible stunt video
Napoli 2 Arsenal 0 match report: Nightmare in Naples leaves Arsenal to battle giants
Transfer news: Wayne Rooney sparks Manchester United exit rumours after rejecting new contract talks - reports
- 1 Nelson Mandela memorial: ‘Bogus’ interpreter made mockery of Barack Obama’s tribute in Soweto
- 2 French café starts charging extra to rude customers
- 3 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 4 Is Facebook making us forget? Study shows that taking pictures ruin memories
- 5 Australia incest case: Filthy and severely deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding