Ricardo defends United role
By Mark Kendall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The 31-year-old Spaniard has made only two appearances - both in the Champions League - since arriving at United last August, but says his inactivity has been largely due to injury niggles.
The former Valladolid custodian has now pronounced himself fully fit, and says United consider him, and not Carroll, as Fabian Barthez's understudy.
"He (Ferguson) and his assistant, (Carlos) Queiroz have assured me that they count on me and that, if Barthez gets injured, they consider me his first replacement," declared the keeper.
"The press like to talk about these things, but there has been a lack of information.
"I suffered a slight knee strain and for this reason I have not been in the manager's plans.
"Now I am fully fit again."
Ricardo also revealed that forcing his way back into contention for the Spanish national team was high on his list of priorities, but accepted he would need to be patient at United before he could entertain thoughts of the international scene.
He added: "To go back to the national team is tremendously important.
"It's an honour to defend your country.
"At the moment the manager (Inaki Saez) is considering other players like (Iker) Casillas and (Santiago) Canizares ahead of me.
"You have to accept his decisions but I would like to return one day.
"For the moment though what I need is patience.
"I have to wait until my chance comes (at United).
"What I have to do now is gain confidence and become first-choice, then I will happy."