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Five Aside

Fergie selection 'disappointed players'

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson admitted there were a number of 'disappointed players' forced to sit by the sidelines as the Red Devils secured a valuable 1-1 draw against Real Madrid in the Champions League.

• Brewin: Unsung heroes in Madrid

Manchester United will return for the second-leg at Old Trafford protecting a valuable away goal after Danny Welbeck opened the scoring with a deft header.

Former United winger Cristiano Ronaldo drew the hosts level later in the first-half.

But Ferguson was forced to defend his squad selection for the visit to Madrid, with some players forced to the bench, while others were left out altogether as Ferguson decided to play Welbeck, Wayne Rooney, Robin Van Persie and Shinji Kagawa together.

And despite scoring the crucial goal for United, it was the selection of Welbeck, who had only previously scored one goal this season, which drew the most attention, Ferguson deciding to play the striker despite the merits of 14-goal hero Javier Hernandez.

"There were a lot of disappointed players, Ferguson said. "I explained to Javier that Robin van Persie is our main striker and that we want someone to join in from a deeper position.

"But whenever Javier plays, he delivers. He has 14 goals already, will get ample opportunity and will score more than 20.

"Nani and Ashley Young are two international footballers. I find it hard to explain that I have left them out."

Meanwhile, Michael Carrick has dismissed claims Danny Welbeck's poor scoring record this season is a continuing concern for the Red Devils, pointing out there is more to the 22-year-old than just an eye for goal.

"If the team is winning, who is scoring is not such an issue," said Carrick "Danny has all the attributes to be a top player but probably doesn't get the credit he deserves.

"As a Manchester lad, he loves the place. He is genuine and gives everything.

"He worked so hard again against Real."


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