FOOTBALL NEWS

31/03/2008 13:28, Report by Steve Bartram and Nick Coppack
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Boss ignores Totti absence

Sir Alex Ferguson won’t allow the absence of talismanic Roma skipper Francesco Totti to provoke complacency in his players ahead of Tuesday night’s Champions League quarter-final, first leg.

The veteran striker will sit out the match at the Stadio Olimpico after aggravating a thigh problem on Saturday, but the United manager is still expecting a tough test in the Italian capital.

“You can’t say it’s going to be an easy game, as it’s a Champions League quarter-final,” he told his pre-match press conference.

“Totti is definitely an inspirational figure, but I’m sure the experience of Roma's other players and their manager Luciano Spalletti will overcome that.

“Roma are second in the league and have a fantastic chance of winning it. They’re a better team [than last season], without question, as their league position shows.”

Roma are also missing central defender Juan with a foot injury, but United have injury concerns of their own.

Darren Fletcher, Nani, Louis Saha and Gary Neville have all stayed in Manchester, while Sir Alex will monitor the progress of several other squad members in

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No room for complacency

"Totti is definitely an inspirational figure, but I’m sure the experience of Roma’s other players will overcome that. Roma are a better team than last season, as their league position shows."

- Sir Alex Ferguson

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