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Aug, 27, 2010

Ferguson defends Bebe after 'vicious attacks'

Sir Alex Ferguson insists new Manchester United signing Bebe does not deserve the "vicious attacks" in the media that followed his omission from the club's reserve squad this week.

Reports have suggested Bebe - said to have cost around £7 million - has not impressed during his early training sessions, with the Guardian saying "first impressions of Bebe have been below expectations".

However, Ferguson insists Bebe was never due to face the 'Elite Squad' - Manchester City's reserves - on Tuesday and backed the player to prove his worth after he proves his fitness.

"Bebe is on a programme doing endurance work because his fitness levels are not near the ones we are at," he said. "Other than that he has done well.

"I know he has had a couple of vicious attacks on him for why he wasn't playing in the reserve game but he was never going to be playing on Tuesday. The boy did not deserve that.

"He is a young man trying to make his way in football. They didn't need to do that. It was a really bitter attack. Ability-wise he is excellent. He is a terrific finisher.

"We have been very impressed with that. It is just the fitness levels he needs to get to."

Meanwhile, it is hoped defender Rio Ferdinand will return to action sooner than expected. Ferguson said last week that the player could be out until the end of September, but it appears he may now be back in a fortnight.

"Rio hadn't done anything football-wise when I spoke last week," he said. "When he read what I said maybe it gave him a kick, but he has come in and trained this week and done fantastic. He will train with the reserves today.

"He won't be involved tomorrow of course but we have to try and think when we can get a game with him in the next two weeks he is that close."

Anderson, who has been out of action since February following cruciate ligament surgery, could also be back soon.

"You have to be aware he has been out for a long time," Ferguson said. "You have to monitor his progress a lot more carefully, but he is keen. He trained on Wednesday. He wanted to train after the game on Tuesday. That shows the enthusiasm he has got."

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