Ruud to skipper United
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Ruud van Nistelrooy will captain Manchester United against Lille on Wednesday.Ruud van Nistelrooy has taken on the captain's armband for Manchester United's UEFA Champions League tie with Lille.
The Dutch hot shot has been handed the honour for the first time in the absence of several senior United players.
Usual captain Roy Keane is injured, while his understudies, Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville, are also out through injury.
Paul Scholes, who has been skipper in recent weeks, is suspended so van Nistelrooy will lead out United at Stade de France.
United manager Sir Alex Ferguson's decision is another sign that Rio Ferdinand, who captained the team on occasions last season, is not yet back in full favour after his protracted contract saga over the summer.
There are also rumours that van Nistelrooy's appointment as skipper is a sign that the out-of-sorts Ferdinand will be dropped from the team to face Lille, particularly as youngster Jonny Evans has been included in the Champions League squad for the first time.
Meanwhile, United defender John O'Shea is hoping the side can bounce back against Lille, following Saturday's 4-1 humbling at Middlesbrough.
O'Shea, who is one of the players rumoured to have been heavily chastised by Keane, also admits the team have to be prepared to accept criticism for bad performances.
The Irishman said: "You just have to get on with it, it's part and parcel of being a player.
"Ever since I have been in the first team there has been so much criticism of certain players in the team.
"When you lose a game like we did, you are going to get criticism and you have to take it on the chin, get on with it and make sure you bounce back.
"Fortunately, we have got a game on Wednesday to put it right and that's (winning) what we can do to put it right."