Ferguson vows to help Heinze reach World Cup

April 13, 2006

MANCHESTER, April 13 (Reuters) - Manchester United will do everything possible to help Argentina's Gabriel Heinze play at the World Cup, manager Alex Ferguson said on Thursday.

'What we should do is to give him every opportunity to be there,' Ferguson told reporters.

'Gabi is 28 now and you can't deny the lad the chance of playing in the World Cup.

'It's the biggest tournament for any player and therefore we have got to try and help him as best we can.

'And looking at him in training, in a month's time he will certainly be ready for a big competition.'

Heinze is set to return as a substitute following seven months out with a knee injury in United's Premier League game against Sunderland on Friday.

The left-sided defender needs to play games to prove his fitness following surgery but, with United chasing the league title, Ferguson wants to limit his changes to a winning team.

Ferguson said he will try to give Heinze as much time on the pitch as possible to confirm his place in Argentina's squad for the finals in Germany in June.

'He has been training very well and we can't ask any more of him,' Ferguson said.

'He has got stuck in straight away as if he's never been away and I think that's terrific to see.

'The problem for him really, in terms of the World Cup, is that we only have five games and (Mikael) Silvestre's form has been absolutely fantastic.

'Therefore it makes it difficult. But the best we can do is give him parts of games to impress the Argentinian medical staff and coaches (and show) that he is all right for the World Cup.'

The World Cup kicks off on June 9 and national squads must be announced by May 15.