Ferguson defends Vidic over clash

29 March 2010 05:42
Sir Alex Ferguson has defended Nemanja Vidic after the FA decided to take no action over his challenge on Bolton's Johan Elmander on Saturday.Elmander needed five stitches in a head wound after contesting a header with the Manchester United defender. [LNB]After the 4-0 loss at the Reebok, incensed Bolton manager Owen Coyle described it as a "terrible challenge". [LNB]But United boss Ferguson said: "His eyes were on the ball - I would have been amazed if the FA had charged him." [LNB]After the match, Coyle said: "Anyone who has seen it knows it was a terrible challenge. [LNB]"I am not looking for excuses but Vidic has caught him with an elbow and there was blood pouring out of it. I can only assume the referee has not seen it." [LNB]But Manchester United boss Ferguson said: "What is the old saying about people in glass houses? [LNB]"When Nemanja Vidic came off at half-time he had a lump on his head the size of an egg, his cheek was swollen and he had a black eye." [LNB]Vidic, who went unpunished during the match, will not face an FA charge because referee Martin Atkinson had a clear view and was looking directly at the incident. [LNB]Ferguson added: "There was no intent there whatsoever. I don't think he knew an opponent was there or who it was." [LNB]Victory over Coyle's side keeps United, for whom Dimitar Berbatov netted twice either side of a Jlloyd Samuel own goal and a late effort from Darron Gibson, a point clear of Chelsea at the top of the Premier League table.[LNB] [LNB][LNB]Scoreline flattered Man Utd - Coyle[LNB]However, Carlo Ancelotti's men visit Old Trafford on Saturday for a clash that could have a decisive influence on the outcome of the title race, and United can ill afford to be without Vidic, a key component of their back four. [LNB]United manager Sir Alex Ferguson will therefore be hoping that referee Martin Atkinson saw the incident and includes it in his report, rendering the Football Association powerless to intervene. [LNB]Ferguson acknowledged the physical nature of the match and appeared unhappy about challenges on Patrice Evra and Nani by Bolton defender Sam Ricketts, confronting Atkinson at the break.[LNB] Team was brilliant today... especially Vidic Handsome and Modest "It was a real battle," said Ferguson. "I said to the referee at half-time it was supposed to be a game of football. He handled it the best way he could. [LNB]"You need to show composure because the ball is never out of the air and we needed some fantastic defending at times. [LNB]"I don't know how many times Nemanja Vidic headed the ball clear but it must have been thousands." [LNB]United now travel to Germany for the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final with Bayern Munich, and Ferguson was relieved that his decision to rest Wayne Rooney and Ferdinand did not prevent United from seeing off Bolton.[LNB] [LNB][LNB]Phelan welcomes Nani's growing influence[LNB]Rooney is nursing a bruised foot, while Ferdinand is recovering from a groin problem. [LNB]"They were just a bit tender," added Ferguson. "Wayne has a bit of bruising in his foot. If he had played and got a whack on it he would have been doubtful for Tuesday. [LNB]"We have a big week. We have to use our squad in situations like this. I have no qualms about that at all. [LNB]"They have all done their job well and I will have Rooney and Ferdinand available for Tuesday."

Source: BBC_Sport