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Serie A heavyweights head-to-head

50-50 Challenge 2 days ago
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By ESPN Staff
Apr 8, 2008

Boro stutter won't affect double bid, says Carrick

Michael Carrick insists Manchester United's stutter at the weekend will not affect their twin campaigns for Champions League and Premier League glory.

United's 2-2 draw at Middlesbrough opened up the domestic race again, but Carrick insists the team are still full of confidence for the European clash against Roma tomorrow night and Arsenal's visit on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Sir Alex Ferguson will reveal later today how long he expects Rio Ferdinand to be missing after the England defender suffered a foot injury. A scan found no broken metatarsal but he is doubtful for both matches.

Carrick said: 'We are still in a good position so we won't get too down. Okay we didn't win against Middlesbrough but we are up there and confident going into the Arsenal game.

'As a club we don't get carried away. We just focus on the next match. We are a good side so we will bounce back. It is not a problem.

'We know we are playing well and are in a good position.'

In relation to Ferdinand, a club statement said: 'Rio went for a scan on Monday and we can confirm that he has not suffered any break.'

Ferguson is set to look to Gerard Pique to solve the defensive crisis caused by Ferdinand's injury and Nemanja Vidic's absence.

The Manchester United manager has used Pique sparingly this season but has been hugely impressed by the 21-year-old Catalan in two recent appearances.

Pique steadied the ship when he came on for Ferdinand at Middlesbrough. He was also hugely impressive standing in for the England defender against Bolton last month when he came up against Kevin Davies, one of the most physical defenders in the top flight, and emerged on top.

Ferguson said: 'Pique came on and did brilliantly (against Middlesbrough). He was marvellous. The lad is a terrific player and I think that actually helped us.

'We've got great confidence in the lad and he has come through very well.'

John O'Shea had initially replaced Vidic but with Middlesbrough causing United problems, Ferguson shifted Wes Brown to centre-back and is likely to play him and Pique together against Roma.