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The tale of two talismans

By ESPN Staff

Ferguson backs Macheda

Sir Alex Ferguson still has faith in Manchester United striker Federico Macheda even though youngster has had yet another loan deal cut shot.

Macheda left for QPR in January optimistic he would prove he could cut it in the Premier League.

Unfortunately for the Italian, manager Neil Warnock was sacked within a matter of weeks and he never saw eye-to-eye with replacement Mark Hughes.

The 20-year-old had not made an appearance since coming on as a substitute at Aston Villa on February 1, although he did hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons when he was fined £15,000 by the Football Association for a posting a homophobic Tweet.

He also used the social networking site to express his displeasure at his treatment by Hughes and has now returned to United for an ankle operation that will end his season.

"He is so unlucky," Ferguson told MUTV.

"I have complete belief in the boy. He could be an outstanding player. But he needs football. We put him on loan to Sampdoria last January. He was there for two weeks, they sacked the coach and he doesn't get a game.

"We put him on loan to QPR. Two weeks later they sack the coach and he doesn't get a game. That has been really unfortunate.

"He has been bothered with his ankle a little bit over the last few weeks, so we have done the right thing to get an operation and hopefully he will be ready for next season.''


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