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Sir Alex reassures relegation strugglers

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has reassured the Premier League's relegation strugglers that Hull City will face no easy game on Sunday.

The Red Devils are certain to field an under-strength team at the KC Stadium with the match coming just three days before they meet Barcelona in the Champions League final.

But even though the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Edwin Van der Sar will not be anywhere near East Yorkshire at the weekend, Sir Alex insists his team will be out to win and are certain to prove a tough opponent for a Hull side who can assure their Premier League survival with a home win.

If Hull gain even a point then Middlesbrough will be relegated, and a victory for the Tigers puts Newcastle in severe trouble and also brings Sunderland into the equation.

Sir Alex has assured managers Gareth Southgate, Alan Shearer and Ricky Sbragia the side he chooses will be a determined one.

"We have a league that has the best integrity in the world and we will play our part in that,'' he said. "No matter which team I play, it will represent Manchester United in the normal way.

"We are expected to win. We will go to win. That is the responsibility we always have.''

Rio Ferdinand returned to training on Friday and could yet play to prove his fitness ahead of the game in Rome while Wes Brown's comeback from injury may step up a notch.

Sir Alex contemplated ringing those concerned managers before realising there would be no need.

"No-one should be unduly worried about our intentions,'' he said. "I was going to ring them, although eventually I dismissed that idea because they must know we will be doing our best.

"Ricky Sbragia worked here. He knows this club. He knows exactly what we will do. Gareth Southgate and Alan Shearer played against us many times. They know exactly what it is like against Manchester United.

"If I can trust them in a semi-final [Everton, FA Cup], why can't I trust them in the last game of the season when we have already won the league?'' questioned Ferguson. "To play players who have represented us in other big games is just a natural thing for us.

"If we don't win on Sunday I will be slaughtered on Monday. It will be the worst thing that has ever happened to the British game.

"People will be complaining about me damaging the integrity of our league. That's the thing about success and praise; you have to treat it for what it is.''

Sir Alex has, however, questioned the Premier League's decision to play their last round of matches on a Sunday.

"Barcelona are playing on Saturday night yet we have a full programme on Sunday when there is only one play-off game on the Saturday,'' said Ferguson.

"England have had a team in the Champions League final for the last five years now, so it is not as though the Premier League were short of knowledge.

"They could easily have put the whole programme to a Saturday. That might have made the situation a bit easier.

"I still would not have played my strongest team of course but there may have been one or two who had played.''

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