LONDON: Negative vibes at Manchester United ahead of Sunday’s Premier League confrontation with Chelsea.
Firstly, United manager David Moyes has been fined £8,000 after admitting a Football Association misconduct charge; secondly, he has had to rule out both Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie for the visit to Stamford Bridge.
Moyes criticised the performance of referee Andre Marriner and his assistants in the wake of United’s 2-1 defeat in the first leg of their League One Cup semi-final at Sunderland.
The Scot claimed United have started “laughing” at officials and said: “We’re having to play them as well as the opposition at the moment.”
This cost him the same amount Brendan Rodgers was fined for a similar rule breach after Liverpool’s Boxing Day game at Manchester City. Moyes, like Rodgers, has also been warned over his future conduct.
As for the Chelsea visit, Rooney has still not recovered from a groin injury, while Van Persie has been sidelined since the Champions League win over Shakhtar Donetsk in December after he suffered a thigh problem.
Moyes said: “Wayne has been doing some running and has done some strengthening work around his groin. We hope we can get him back as soon as we can but we don’t want to put a date on it.”
Van Persie is further behind in his recovery. Moyes said: “I am hoping Robin might be able to start training next week. We want to get him back on the grass. That would be a great boost for us. He is a really important player. We have missed both of them but they are getting closer.”