FOOTBALL NEWS

27/11/2009 22:46, Report by Ben Hibbs

Reds have plan for the ban

Sir Alex Ferguson and his coaching staff have made the necessary preparations to ensure that the start of the United manager’s two-game touchline ban does not make life difficult at Fratton Park.

The Reds boss will be in the stands on Saturday afternoon as he begins a suspension for comments made about referee Alan Wiley after the 2-2 draw with Sunderland in October.

“It shouldn’t really affect us,” said the boss. “We have got our communication lines in place for the game.”

That said, the noisy atmosphere – likely to be heightened as Pompey look to reassert themselves under new manager Avram Grant – might make talking to assistant manager Mike Phelan and first-team coach Rene Meulensteen a little more difficult.

“The only problem you’ve got is that it’s a very noisy place, Fratton Park,” added Sir Alex.

“It’s one of these old stadiums, the stands are a bit rickety nowadays, and the directors’ box is towards the home end where all the drums and noise is going on! It’s a good racket, and a terrific ground. But we should be OK.”

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