Sir Alex Ferguson offered a bleak outlook on Manchester United's injury crisis after their defensive frailties resulted in a 3-0 thrashing by Fulham.
Ferguson admitted there is "no light at the end of the tunnel" as United slumped to their fifth defeat of the campaign, squandering the chance to join Chelsea at the top of the Barclays Premier League table. Seven defenders, including Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, have been lost to the treatment room and Ferguson admitted his side will fade from contention if their injury woes fail to improve.
"The way the league is at the moment I hope it is not too damaging. I hope it doesn't cost us the league," he told MUTV.
"We'll have to get our defenders back to give us a proper chance of going for the league, there's no question of that. But if we get them back we'll be back in it.
"The quicker they're back the better. They're doing their best. The medical team and physios are working overtime to get them back.
"There's no light at the end of the tunnel at the moment, that's for sure."
Vidic's failure to recover from a calf strain saw United field a feeble three-man defence consisting of midfielders Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher and rookie Ritchie De Laet.
And Fulham, playing with confidence and belief, capitalised with goals from Danny Murphy, Bobby Zamora and Damien Duff to complete their second successive rout of United.
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