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It seems like after a bit of a wobble we seem to be getting our defensive assurance back again.

Three clean sheets in a row we've had now, that should give the players back the confidence they'd lost over the last few weeks.

It should be pointed out that tonight was our first clean sheet in the Premiership in six games, the other two came against Porto in the Champions League and Everton in the FA Cup, but a clean sheet is a clean sheet and it will do the defenders good.

I just hope Rio will be fit for the next game because we look a lot stronger with him in the team.

And the right back position is now a worry with Neville and O' Shea going off injured, but Brown played for the reserves a few days ago and can hopefully make his long awaited return to first team action soon.
 

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Sky Sports | Football | Premier League | News | Double injury blow for United

Manchester United defenders Gary Neville and John O'Shea face several weeks on the sidelines after suffering injuries in the 2-0 win over Portsmouth.

Neville was hurt moments after Wayne Rooney had opened the scoring at Old Trafford, with the United skipper replaced by O'Shea.

However, Republic of Ireland international O'Shea picked up an injury early in the second half, which prompted Rafael da Silva's introduction as a substitute.

The experienced duo are now set to miss a few key games for United after Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed the severity of the injuries.
Bad tackles

"There were two bad tackles on them, but no action was taken and they will be out for weeks now, unfortunately," Ferguson told Sky Sports.

"Gary Neville has had to go for an X-ray and John O'Shea will have a scan tomorrow.

"They will both be out for a few weeks now and that's the disappointment about that."

Right-back has been a troublesome area for United this season, but Wes Brown is on the brink of a return to first-team action.

Brown will feature for the reserves on Thursday night and could be in contention to face Tottenham on Saturday, having not played since the end of January.

Regarding United's problems at right-back, Ferguson joked: "I don't think anyone else should play there!"

He added: "Fortunately, we've got Wes Brown back and he plays for the reserves tomorrow again. That's his second game.

"We'll give him one half because he could be involved on Saturday."
 

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We definitely need Brown back asap. He was immense for us last season, and I think we've seriously missed him. I really hope he's back as soon as possible.

As for the rest, Vidic is pretty much back to his best, Evans was solid today and Rio should be back soon.

I also thought Evra was also a lot better today, and he's been very hit and miss this season. It'd be great if he could show us some of his best form again, love him.
 

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Hope Wes can come back strong and not get injured quickly, Rafael played very well tonight and I think we always have the option of Fletch in that position, but lets not get ahead of ourselves about the defence, I want to see what happens in the next few games. I think a clean sheet against Arsenal at OT would be a massive confidence boost and then maybe we can say that our troubles are over.
 

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Once we have Rio and Vidic along with the midfield helping to break things up in the CM area and help out at the back, we should be fine. The last three league wins and the win in Porto will also bring back the confidence, which is important in every game.

Only concern for me is RB, Brown will be lacking match practice and Rafael is only just back back from injury.
 

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Maybe they are, yes. We never doubted the ability of our defenders, they were never the problem. It's that as good as they can be, they are prone to silly mistakes too.

Nothing impressive in O'Shea, but he is able to do what he has been asked of in a good way, and without trying to excell and impress - In Rafael i can see an excellent cover for the right back position, a player which we have been turning to lately. And Brown, still first choice and a top right back and although we've been waiting for his return for a long time now, i still say we should take our time with him and not rush him into things.
Not much to say of our centre backs - Rio and Vida - Plus Evans. Class.
And the last but not least, Evra whom in my opinion is not at his best lately, but you can never doubt his class.
 

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I'm confident about our chances, but the defence worries me a lot, not about their capabilities, but fitness and injury levels. We need Rio back strong but his back could be a big problem for him, with Nevler and Johno now out for a few weeks, Brown and Rafael risky (injury-wise). It only takes another red for Vida and we are in hot water big time, hopefully I am completely wrong here and they all come back fit and strong over the next week and we can have the perfect end to this season..
 

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Yeah I think it's save to say we've gotten over that blip we had..

When Rio came back into the team with Vidic he was a huge boost and the defence has played well in our last few games - 3 clean sheets in a row is good going..

If Neville and O'Shea are out for a few weeks well then Brown's long awaited return from injury has been timed well.. Rafael can do a job there, but so can Fletcher too so I wouldn't be overly worried about the RB spot at the moment..!

If we keep winning games 1-0 from now until the end of the season I for one won't be complaining..!:)
 

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I thought our defence was a bit dodgy today tbh.

Evans' form has dropped, as has Evra's and Vidic can't do it all on his own.
 

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We are definitely over our blip.
O'Shea and Neville being injured is not as much of a blow as some may think.
Wes and Rafael are better at RB anyway. Rio and Vidic are back to their best and we have Evans to fill in when needed. Just as long as Vidic and Evra dont get injured we should be fine.
 

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I wouldn't say our defensive troubles are over just yet, we have kept 3 clean sheets since we last conceded a goal, we are getting better in defence though, but the main concern is that O'shea and Neville will be missing through long term injuries "i think", we need wes back, he plays really well with Ferdinand and Vidic, he just needs to stay injury free.
 

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I think they are now over for sure. Against pompey we were really good, the odd misplaced pass or two but solid at the back :)
 

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Wes was immense for us last season his return could be crucial in the run in.Raf and Fabs are perfect replacements/subs for Brown and Evra.Johnny Evans has been a revelation and has stepped up to the plate big time.It all boils down to having a settled unit though.The kids have definitely got the talent and have come in and performed miracles.They can only get better as and when they play as part of a settled back four--- not quite yet though .The big worry has to be Rio-------this back thing is becoming a real worry.Rio and Vidic are the Prems best center back pairing by a mile and have been the cornerstone of our success this past two seasons.Their solidity has allowed us to be profligate in front of goal and covered up our finishing shortcomings.
Remember the AC Milan game we lost with no first choice back four player present----We have moved on from then----Thank God.
Soooooooo for me --------We could do with more cover at center back to augment Evans.
 

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I don't think we should underate just how important it is that Brown is back.

When it comes to the really big games, like the 3 against Arsenal, potentially a final ect then we could get torn apart without him.

Rafael is still too inexperienced to chuck him in the big time. Neville isn't the player he once was and O'Shea is just painfully average, even if he is reliable. Rafael would be my choice of the 3 of them though.

Plus It's been far too long since we've seen somebody getting BRWND.
 

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I really doubt he would play against Arsenal. Sir Alex wouldn't hand the start to a player that just came back from injury with a game of such importance.
 
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Discussion Starter #17
Another dodgy display today from the defence. Rafael struggled against Modric, Lennon looks like he has the beating of Evra every time we play Spurs, even the centre halves weren't at their usually best.

Mush better display in the second half though and the attackers made up for the first half defensive errors.

I don't think our 'wobble' is behind us yet, but the improvement in the second half is a positive sign that this was a wake up call.
 

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On paper, our defense is the best in the Premiership, if not Europe, but statistically Chelsea's is better, and that's down to us not playing with the same four week in week out imo. The commentator said Brown is nearing his return, which should be a big bonus for us. Such an underrated player.
 

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I said in the previous page that "I think it's safe to say that they were".
But after the 1st half today, we're not just yet.

2nd half was an improvement, but in all fairness they hadn't a lot to do and the attacking players deserve huge credit for that. It was a bit worrying to see Evra get stung by Lennon again today and I still don't think Evra has gotten over his blip since the last time they met in the Carling Cup.
I don't want to criticise Rafael but he did show lack of experience for the 2nd goal from Modric.

Anyway our attacking players saved their blushes today and hopefully they will be back on form against Arsenal and the remaining teams we have to play yet.
 

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I don't think our defensive troubles are over yet. Our wing backs have not been too convincing. Conceding two goals in one half at home speaks volume. Today was more of us outscoring the opposition than compactness at the back. We definitely have more work cut out against Arsenal.

Oops, should not have posted this today. :eek: :D
 
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