• Premier League

Moyes anxious over pre-season injuries

ESPN staff
July 14, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
David Moyes is confident he will have a fit squad come Manchester United's opening game against Swansea City © PA Photos
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Manchester United manager David Moyes admitted he fears his squad could suffer a major injury on their pre-season tour of East Asia and Australia.

The squad flew out from England for Thailand last week already missing the likes of Ashley Young (ankle), Nemanja Vidic (back), Nani (broken nose) and Chris Smalling (foot) to injury.

And on arrival to Bangkok, England international Wayne Rooney was promptly returned home after picking up a hamstring injury in training.

Now in Sydney, Australia for the game against the A-League All-Stars, Moyes said he brought a small squad on tour so he could lessen the risk of injury and have his players ready for the first crucial match of his United career - the start of the Red Devils' Premier League defence against Swansea.

"Well there is (fear of injury) because you always pick up one or two knocks or niggles," Moyes told reporters.

"My preference was to come with a smaller squad because I wanted to make sure I got as many players playing minutes, and I didn't end up bringing a lot of players who ended up travelling half way around the world for three weeks and ended up not playing enough games.

"So I wanted to focus on getting as many players as much time as I could. I think it's always good once you get the first one under your belt, you feel much better by it.

"Every game for Manchester United is important, but I've also got to say the most important one is when we get back and start the season against Swansea City. That's the real one where we want to start getting ourselves ready."

And Moyes was confident that, if needed, his injured brigade could be called upon to lend a hand at the start of the season.

"Ashley Young has started some training, Chris Smalling started some light training, Nemanja as well has started," he said. "So we do know that if we need them we can probably call on them."

However, one player who will not be pulling out of his share of hard work for fear of injury is United legend Ryan Giggs, the 39-year-old veteran enduring another gruelling pre-season schedule in his 23-year Red Devil career as some of his team-mates experience their first.

However, when asked what motivates him after 20 plus years of pre-season pain, the former Welsh international, at first, was lost for words.

"I don't know. Crazy aren't I?" Giggs responded. "I'm enjoying it as much as I did 20 years ago, it's as simple as that.

"Every year's a bonus for me. Winning the league, the feeling you have, the hard work you put in, and in a way, that trophy makes it all worthwhile.

"But the thing about Manchester United is you've got to do it all over again, and this is the start of the journey this season and I hope to be lifting the trophy at the end of the season. You've got to put the hard work in now to achieve that.

"But the answer to your question is I'm enjoying it more than ever."

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