Ferguson fine with Benitez jibes

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Sir Alex Ferguson is happy for Rafael Benitez to keep aiming his verbal volleys at Manchester United because he trusts his players to avoid them.

Benitez has launched a series of scathing attacks on Ferguson since the turn of the year, the latest being a claim in Spain that the United manager is fearful of Liverpool because he knows they are a better side than his own.

"He is definitely saying a lot," said Ferguson of Benitez's jibes. "But I am happy for him to carry on with it."

The latest comment seemed strange in a week when United opened a three point lead at the Premier League summit, although it did maintain a feud Ferguson continued last week when he claimed Benitez had behaved with contempt towards Sam Allardyce for his reaction at a goal against Blackburn at Anfield recently.

But Ferguson has no wish to silence Benitez, preferring to let his team do the talking.

"I have to trust my players. I know they are good enough," he said.

"I have trusted them for years now. That is why I have picked them.

"They are a good bunch of lads and we will just carry on the way we always have."

Meanwhile, Gary Neville has been ruled out for a fortnight after injuring his foot against Portsmouth at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

It means the Red Devils' skipper will miss both legs of the Champions League semi-final against Arsenal and also key Barclays Premier League games against Tottenham on Saturday and Middlesbrough on May 2.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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