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Page last updated at 23:43 GMT, Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Man Utd trio suffer injury blow

Anderson was stretchered off at the final whistle
Anderson was stretchered off at the final whistle

Injuries to Anderson, Rafael and Jonny Evans took the shine off Manchester United's 4-3 aggregate win over Derby in their Carling Cup semi-final.

Midfielder Anderson will need an X-ray on Wednesday to determine his injury.

Right-back Rafael (hamstring) could be out for a month, and centre-back Evans faces a week out with an ankle problem.

"We have a few injuries so it's been bad in that respect but we're in the final and we should be celebrating," said United boss Sir Alex Ferguson.

Anderson was stretchered off at the final whistle after an innocuous looking challenge from Giles Barnes.

"There is some damage. We are not exactly sure what but we will see what happens," said Ferguson.

Rafael was forced off just before half-time, while Evans had to play on for the last 15 minutes despite aggravating an ankle injury.

Ferguson added: "Evans has had a recurrence of an ankle injury that he has been holding for a few weeks, but hopefully he'll be back next week.

"Rafael has a hamstring injury and he'll be out for a few weeks."

Nani, Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs also failed to complete the 90 minutes against the Rams but are not thought to have picked up any serious problems.

"There are probably six or seven of them who have picked up injuries," confirmed Ferguson.

"We finished with 10 men. But it was effectively nine, because Jonny was in great discomfort."

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United defenders Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra and Wes Brown are already sidelined and it is unlikely Evans will be fit to face Tottenham in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday.

But Ferguson was keen to concentrate on the positives after his young side - that contained five played aged 21 or under - saw off the Championship strugglers to book their place at Wembley.

United will face Burnley or Spurs in the final on 1 March and Ferguson says he will stick with the youngsters in that game too.

"Finals are always hard to get in to and the young lads have done fantastically well to get there," he said.

"It was a great performance and they (the youngsters) will all be playing in the final.

"The important thing is to find out what their temperament is and they have all proved that tonight.

"Playing in big occasions in front of 75,000 is difficult and I'm proud of them."

Derby manager Nigel Clough was also upbeat after his side's late fightback that saw them put United under pressure after looking dead and buried at half-time.

The Rams held a 1-0 lead from the first leg but were 3-0 down inside 35 minutes at Old Trafford.

United can beat anyone on their day by four, five or six so we have a lot of positives to take from tonight

Derby boss Nigel Clough
"If we'd got a second goal at home things could have been different," said Clough.

"But the first goal knocked the stuffing out of us and the defending for the second and third goals was disappointing.

"We kept playing and plugging away, though, and we showed a lot of character afterwards. That's what I was looking for."

It was only Clough's second game in charge of his side after he oversaw a 2-0 league defeat by QPR at the weekend and he was proud of the spirit they showed against the Premier League leaders.

"It was a vast improvement on Saturday - even the first half," Clough explained. "United can beat anyone on their day by four, five or six so we have a lot of positives to take from this game.

"I asked them to defend a bit better and have a go and I thought we did that. We took the game to them as much as we could.

"We kept going, got the goal - and it was a little bit jittery for five or 10 minutes."

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see also
Man Utd 4-2 Derby (4-3 agg)
20 Jan 09 |  League Cup
Carling Cup photos
20 Jan 09 |  Football
Carling Cup as it happened
20 Jan 09 |  League Cup
Derby 1-0 Man Utd
07 Jan 09 |  League Cup


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