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Football: Ferguson relieved as United are unscathed.

Byline: JIM van WIJK

SIR ALEX FERGUSON breathed a sigh of relief last night as he reported no fresh injuries ahead of Manchester United's Champions League qualifier against Dinamo Bucharest.

A patched-up United side went down 3-1 to Arsenal in yesterday's FA Community Shield in Cardiff, but Ferguson clearly had his thoughts on Wednesday as he made use of all of his substitutes during the second half.

Ferguson is already down to the bare bones as he prepares his side for what is financially the most important match of United's season.

He said: ``It was about trying to make sure everyone was fit for Wednesday. I think we have managed to do that. There are no new injuries so far.

``Hopefully by tomorrow morning it will be a definite. That would be a bonus because we can't afford to pick up any more (injuries). ''

As well as missing Wes Brown (achilles) and Louis Saha, who picked up a medial knee ligament problem against PSV Eindhoven, for ``two to three weeks'', Gabriel Heinze and Cristiano Ronaldo are away on Olympic duty.

Ruud van Nistelrooy, Kleberson and Liam Miller are all injured and Rio Ferdinand still suspended. Darren Fletcher will, meanwhile, miss the first two matches of the new Barclays Premiership season because of his red card on the final day of the last campaign.

``We are suffering a lot because of the game on Wednesday, '' said Ferguson.

``It is a killer for us in terms of trying to give players enough rest. ``You take Mikael Silvestre, Gary Neville and Phil Neville -- they have only had five days' training. That is not enough. But the situation we are in, we had to play them simply because of the game we have on Wednesday.

``The main thing was to get players off who are going to be important to us on Wednesday. Roy (Keane) and Ryan (Giggs). But Paul (Scholes) needed as much of the game as we could give him.

Quinton Fortune should have come off at half-time. ''
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Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Aug 9, 2004
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