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Nov 27, 2011

Sir Alex warns against burn out

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson does not want any of his stars playing in both the European Championships and the Olympic Games next summer - but has backed Ryan Giggs for Team GB.

• Sir Alex: Rio in my plans

Danny Welbeck, Tom Cleverley, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling are all candidates to be in the England squad for Euro 2012 and they will also be eligible for the Olympics when they are staged in London.

Sir Alex is worried that the players will suffer from burn out by essentially playing back to back Premier League seasons with no break.

"One thing I am quite clear about is that I wouldn't like to see our young players who might be involved in Euro 2012 then selected for the Olympics," he said. "Manchester United might well have a direct interest with our up-and-coming youngsters like Welbeck, Jones, Smalling and Tom Cleverley now on the international scene. I welcome their involvement at international level. But if they go to the Euro finals they will need a break.

"I know they are young, fit and eager but they will need to rest. I'm sure Stuart Pearce [Team GB coach] will bear this in mind. I certainly hope so because I wouldn't like to see them burnt out before they have really started."

Sir Alex understands the stance of the Scottish, Welsh and Irish Football Associations in not wanting to supply players for the teams, but he does feel Giggs would be a perfect candidate for the squad.

"As a Scot, I'd say it's a no-no in case FIFA seize the chance to try to make the home countries play together as Britain all the time - and we wouldn't want that.

"Stuart Pearce made sense when he pointed out that a player like Ryan, who has missed out on playing in the major international tournaments with Wales, might welcome the opportunity to play in the Olympics as an over-age player.

"It might well appeal and at the end of the day I suppose it is probably best left to individual choice."

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