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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Phil catches Robbo's eye

Sheffield United manager Bryan Robson is confident that loan signing Phil Bardsley will be a sound addition to his squad.

The Blades have struggled in the Championship after their controversial relegation from the top flight last term, but Robbo is hopeful that Bardsley bring solidity to his side's backline.

"Phil is a good pro and has come here to perform," Robson told the official Sheffield United website.

"I am confident he will do a good job for us and we are always looking to improve the squad. He also has experience out on-loan after spells at Burnley, Rangers and Aston Villa."

Bardsley has found first team openings limited at Old Trafford, but has already caught his new manager's eye in his short time training with the Blades.

Robson said: "He's fitted in with the lads straight away and he goes straight into contention for Saturday.

"It's important for me that Phil brings the right balance to the back four. He is a specialised full-back and that creates a more defensive sound unit."


Owen pushing for return

Owen Hargreaves hopes to finally resume his promising start to life with United against Aston Villa this weekend.

Injuries have restricted the England midfielder to just three appearances since joining from Bayern Munich, but he hopes to finally make his return at Villa Park.

"I hope this is it for me injury-wise. I have missed enough games," Hargreaves told The Sun.

"I've been involved with football for quite a while and know injuries are part of the game, but I've tried to take more precautions as I've got older."

Owen has been out of action with tendonitis since facing Sunderland at the start of September, but an injection in his knee has been widely regarded as a success, hopefully clearing a path for his return.

And, with Michael Carrick still missing with a fractured elbow, Hargreaves' return would be a timely one as United aim to extend a six-game Premier League winning streak.


Knight: United in for a fight

Zat Knight has warned Manchester United they will be in for a shock when they visit Aston Villa. The defender reckons Martin O'Neill's men are turning Villa Park into a fortress and that they can see off United in the same way they shocked Chelsea. Knight said: "We can get something out of the game and hope to create another upset, like we did against Chelsea a few weeks ago. United are in good form at the moment but they are beatable. We just have to hope we can catch them on a bad day. Playing it at our ground will help as well, as we are trying to turn Villa Park into a fortress."
Andrew Haigh, The Sun