FOOTBALL NEWS

24/12/2008 12:31, Report by A Bostock, S Bartram

Fit and fresh for Friday

Any rival manager hoping for a United setback at Stoke on Boxing Day may be disappointed by Sir Alex Ferguson's pre-match press conference.

The Reds boss had no new casualties to report and insisted his players looked good in training this morning (Wednesday), less than 48 hours after arriving home from Japan.

"We've no injury worries," confirmed Sir Alex. "Everyone has come through the trip well.

"We just hope we've got enough time to prepare for Friday's game. They had yesterday off and looked quite fresh in training today."

United's players will be put through their paces on Christmas Day to ensure that they are fighting fit for the Potters, but Sir Alex insists that they are still able to join in the festivities with their families.

"We're in tomorrow, training, then we go down at night to Stoke," he revealed. "We’re training in the morning, and we’re back in plenty of time to enjoy the family gatherings.

"Of course, the Portuguese and some of the European players celebrate it the previous night, it’s a different culture. So you’re not hindered."

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