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Mind your house: Fergie laughs off Vieira claims of United desperation

“Desperation? On Wednesday they played a player who refused to go on the pitch and the manager had said he would never play for them again. What is that?”

Image: (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)

WHEN THE SO-CALLED mind games click up a gear, you know the title race is hotting up.

Today, Alex Ferguson has hit back at Patrick Vieira’s claims that Manchester United were desperate to recall Paul Scholes to the team.

Vieira, now football development executive at Manchester City, said that Scholes’ return showed there is weakness in the United squad as they had to turn to a 37-year-old player.

Ferguson was quick to dismiss Vieira’s comments in a press conference at Old Trafford on this morning, and says he has ‘plenty of ammunition’ if their rivals are going to start playing mind games.

“If it’s desperation bringing back Paul Scholes, the best midfielder in Britain for the last 20 years, then I think we can accept that,” he said. “Roberto Mancini had a little dig at us a couple of weeks back. We’re all going to play our hand. I have plenty of ammunition that way.

“Desperation? On Wednesday they played a player (Carlos Tevez) who refused to go on the pitch and the manager had said he would never play for them again. What is that?”

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Scholes has played a key part in United’s return to the summit of the Premier League, with the Red Devils only dropping two points in the 10 games in which he has featured.

“He can dictate the tempo of games very well. He has the experience. He has a terrific football brain,” Ferguson said. Contrary to press reports, Ferguson confirmed he has not yet spoken to Scholes about staying on for another season at Old Trafford.

“The reason he wanted to retire was because he wanted to play 50 games, not 25 games. It was because he wanted to play more,” he said. “I have not spoken to him about next season.”

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