FOOTBALL NEWS

"Phil Jones started training yesterday but tomorrow is too soon for him. I need to call Bruce and Pallister!"

- Sir Alex Ferguson

24/08/2012 09:25, Report by A Marshall & G Thompson

Centre-backs still out

Sir Alex Ferguson admits the Reds are still beset by injury problems at the heart of the defence although Phil Jones is back in training.

United are planning to hand a home debut to Robin van Persie against Fulham but the main focus is on the centre-back position with Jonny Evans still not ready to return leaving Patrice Evra as a contender to move inside if new signing Alexander Buttner is included.

"I need to call Bruce and Pallister!," joked the boss, who fielded Michael Carrick alongside Nemanja Vidic at Goodison Park.

"Phil Jones started training yesterday but tomorrow is too soon for him. Robin has had a few days training since Monday. It's a home game and there's every chance he could get a start.

"It's pretty much the same as Monday night injury-wise. Alex will be involved tomorrow because he gives that back-up. Evra could actually play centre-back. He has done in the past. But I don't think Alex will start tomorrow, I think he'll be on the bench."

The manager is fully aware of the need to bounce back from the defeat at Everton but appreciates the Cottagers will provide a tough test.

"I went to see Fulham last Saturday and they played very well," he added. "They have a lot of experience in their team with six players over 30. We're at home and we need to make an impact quickly after Monday's game."

MoreRobin van Persie signs for United | Transfer speculation - August

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