Date: 20th May 2009 at 12:22pm
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All three north-east clubs rubbished the reports that they will sue United if Fergie puts out an understrength team against Hull City. The reports suggested they would exploit a Premier League rule which states that every participant member must field a full-strength team.

However, it is also a rule in the Champions League, for example, and look at the teams that many clubs field when progress from the group is already assured. Remember Mark Lynch and Danny Pugh? Both played in the Champions League in 2003: the latter featured in the 3-0 win at Juventus while the former scored an own goal at Deportivo. Yet there was no sueing…

Yes, we’re gonna play a second-string team but that team is still good enough to get a result at Hull – no disrespect to them of course but the youngsters did quite well against Everton in the FA Cup and the Toffees are a lot stronger than Hull. Also, Fergie wants Rio to play to gain some match fitness before the final and Darren Fletcher will probably feature, too.

And can you really call Federico Macheda a reserve? He was trusted enough to be thrown into the deep water with 30 minutes to go when United were trailing Aston Villa at home in a crucial moment…