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Ferguson hoping he can soon rest Man Utd defender Ferdinand

Sir Alex Ferguson says he wants to ensure Manchester United's qualification to the next phase of the Champions League so it allows him to rest defender Rio Ferdinand.

The Red Devils can progress to the knockout stages of Europe's premier club competition with victory over Sporting Braga on Wednesday and Ferguson sees it as the perfect opportunity to get his defensive stocks back in order.

"The game in Braga will give me a chance to utilise my squad. I'll be making some changes," he told reporters.

"If we can get the win it's better, but we want to make sure we qualify first. If we do, it gives me options to utilise (Chris) Smalling and (Phil) Jones.

"Then we can make sure that Ferdinand is fresh for all these games. I won't have to worry about playing him Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday, Wednesday.

"That's an important issue. I don't expect (Nemanja) Vidic to be back until Christmas so it adds back-up in that respect."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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