FOOTBALL NEWS

31/03/2010 15:31, Report by Nick Coppack

Macheda on standby

Sir Alex Ferguson says he'd have no qualms in using teenage striker Federico Macheda at the business end of the season.

The Italian burst onto the scene last year with an injury-time winner against Aston Villa on his debut to hand the Reds victory after back-to-back defeats to Liverpool and Fulham had threatened to derail United's title charge. Six days later he netted the winner at Sunderland to complete a fairytale week.

This season the Italy U21 international has been dogged by injuries, featuring just six times in the first team. Sir Alex said before Wayne Rooney suffered minor ligament damage to his ankle in Munich on Tuesday that Macheda should get further chances before the season is out.

"Young Macheda’s had a terrible season with injuries," Sir Alex said in Munich. "But he made a return against Bolton last Saturday and we were absolutely delighted. He's one of the most exceptional young strikers I’ve seen in my time at United.

"He has every chance of taking part in big matches. His ability around the box for a young player is outstanding."

High praise

"Without question he’s one of the most exceptional young strikers I’ve seen in my time at United. He has every chance [of taking part in big matches]. His ability around the box for a young player is simply outstanding."

- Sir Alex Ferguson

@ManUtd
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