Injury woes for United
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that Michael Carrick will miss up to three weeks with an ankle injury and Ryan Giggs can expect a similar spell on the sidelines after picking up a hamstring problem after Sunday's 1-1 draw with Newcastle.
The pair limped off at Old Trafford as United started their defence of their Premier League title with dropped home points, with Darren Fletcher's goal cancelling out Obafemi Martins' effort.
Midfielder Carrick limped off in the first half and has been pulled out of the squad for England's friendly against the Czech Republic on Wednesday, while Ferguson claimed that striker Fraizer Campbell has also picked up an unspecified injury.
Carlos Tevez will return at Portsmouth next Monday after missing the opening game of the season due to the death of an uncle, and Ferguson feels Wayne Rooney, who has been struggling with a virus, will also be better for having played a full 90 minutes.
"Michael has an ankle injury and it has swollen up very badly and he'll be out for maybe two or three weeks which is unfortunate," Ferguson said. "Ryan's got a hamstring injury so it was disappointing to get these injuries on top of what we're missing anyway. I haven't got too many complaints. We did our best with the resources we had available.
"Carlos Tevez will be back for the Portsmouth match next week and Wayne will be much sharper and much fitter and in the second half it started to show for him but unfortunately Campbell also picked up an injury and I had to take him off, so we were asking Wayne to play through the middle when he's really needing games and it was a big ask."
Ferguson once again refused to comment on his pursuit of the Tottenham striker Dimitar Berbatov and insisted he was not concerned about his lack of attacking options. He added: "I'm not discussing anyone. I think we have a good squad, the same squad as last year and when Tevez comes back and Wayne gets games that will be my strike-force. That's what it was last season and I'm happy to continue with that. There are 37 games left so it is not a disaster. We have shown before we can come from behind."
Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan is targeting at least two additions before the transfer window closes at the end of the month. Keegan is pleased with his trio of additions, Fabricio Coloccini, Danny Guthrie and Jonas Gutierrez, and wants his next few signings to be of a similar quality.
"In spite of what everyone thinks, we're working really hard to bring quality players in," Keegan said. "I think too often in the last few years Newcastle have bought players that haven't been quite good enough for whatever reason.
"Sometimes they haven't settled, sometimes they haven't seemed to understand what it means to play for Newcastle United. The three that we've got so far do, and the next three must as well, and if that means waiting, then so be it.
"Anyone can collect players because there are hundreds around but good players who can play at Newcastle, not everyone can do that. I definitely want one or two (signings)," Keegan insisted.