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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Scholes rues disruptions

Paul Scholes says the recent World Cup qualifiers make the outcome of Saturday's lunchtime encounter at Anfield even more unpredictable.

Scholesy has been among only a handful of players training at United’s Carrington headquarters this week as most Reds headed off to aid their country’s bid to reach the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

"There have been four or five of us training and that does disrupt it massively - especially when we have an early kick-off on Saturday," Scholes told MUTV.

"We (the whole group) will get an hour of training probably on Friday. Sometimes it helps and sometimes it doesn't. We will just have to wait and see on Saturday.”

Fortunately, Liverpool are in the same situation. "It’s the same for every team. Liverpool will have a lot of players out; Chelsea will have every player out as well. These are historically tough games and whenever you play them it isn't any different. You need to play these games at some stage during the season."

The 33-year-old will be as vital as ever when United take on Liverpool on Saturday, and he says the influx of youthful midfielders at Old Trafford has allowed him to focus on the passing game that still sets him apart from his Premier League peers.

"It’s good having the youngsters in because they can do all the running for you,” he joked. “You can just sit and pass the ball to them and off they go.

"You try to give a little bit of advice to them, but not too much,” he adds. “They don't need much talking to. I just say to them to do exactly what has got them here. The manager has seen something in them that has got them to this stage, so why stop that?”

Rene relishing new role

Rene Meulensteen is relishing his new role as first team coach at Old Trafford and is grateful to Sir Alex Ferguson for the opportunity.

The Dutch coach succeeded Mike Phelan, who was promoted to assistant manager, last week following the summer departure of Carlos Queiroz.

Meulensteen joined the Reds in 2001 as Technical Skills Development Officer, before being promoted to Reserve Team manager in 2005.

His impact was immediately evident, with United's second string putting together some stunning football en route to a treble of FA Premier Reserve League Shield, the Premier Reserve League North and the Manchester Senior Cup.

After a brief stint managing Brondby for the first half of the 2006/07 season, he returned to Old Trafford to work with the first team and was eventually handed his new role.

"It's nice that Sir Alex has seen what I can do over the years with my approach and ideas about football that can add something to a club like Manchester United," he told Voetbal International. "That gives me a lot of satisfaction.

"The collaboration with Mike Phelan is excellent and Sir Alex has also noticed that. He did not need to bring someone else in from outside. In this way, the stability and continuity within the organisation is also guaranteed.

"I am now involved with everything around the first team in an intensive way. I think actively about the tactics, the team selection and have my share in the discussions."

Tussle for Boilesen

United and Chelsea are locked in another tug-of-war, this time over Danish teenager Nicolai Boilesen. Brondby defender Boilesen, 16, will have trials at Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge this month. The clubs infamously fought over John Mikel Obi before the Nigerian midfielder moved to Chelsea from United for £12m without kicking a ball for Sir Alex Ferguson’s team. Boilesen, who captained Denmark U17s to a 6-1 win over England last month, said: "United are my favourite club. But I am very proud that two such big clubs are watching me."
Staff reporter, Daily Mail