Fergie facing backline problems
By Simon Fudge
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Phil Neville suffered a pulled muscle in Sunday's Community Shield victory over Arsenal at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium and is doubtful for next weekend's home-opener versus The Trotters.
Quinton Fortune could also miss out next Saturday after suffering a groin injury on Sunday
With Phil's brother Gary Neville currently sidelined with a hamstring injury, Ferguson could be short of defensive options for the start of the new season.
Despite the injury concerns, the Scot took time following their penalty shoot-out win over The Gunners to praise his players for their performance in incredibly hot conditions at the Millennium Stadium.
"At one point, it was 41 degrees on the pitch. The atmosphere and climate are alien to us," admitted Ferguson.
"On a day like today, I am happy winning the trophy.
"It was hard work and not a game you can take any measurement from.
"It wasn't a typical Manchester United-Arsenal game. It is usually more cut and thrust.
"There were a few flashpoints, but that's what you expect when it is Manchester United."
Meanwhile, United's goalkeeping hero Tim Howard was quick to play down his chances that he will start the new season in goal for his new club.
The American made two fine saves in the penalty shoot-out to hand United victory in the Community Shield but the former New York/New Jersey MetroStars custodian revealed the decision to start next Saturday is out of his hands.
"I don't know whether I will be starting the season, that's not my decision," Howard told Sky Sports.
"We have four great goalkeepers and we're looking to have a good battle all season long."
Ferguson was delighted with the way the 23-year-old performed in his debut in England following his arrival from Major League Soccer.
"I couldn't fault him today," added Ferguson.
"He enjoyed the penalty kicks.
"He shows no fear which is terrific to see, he's spring is great, his agility. We're very pleased with him."