Phelan: United will not throw towel in

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Manchester United assistant manager Mike Phelan is confident the Red Devils defenders will be able to handle the threat of Rory Delap's monster throw-ins at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Stoke tackle United for the first time in over two decades buoyed by an impressive start to their debut Premier League campaign and Phelan knows his side will be in for a tough psychical workout, with Delap posing a particular threat as he propels the ball into the United penalty area.

"As everyone has seen, those throw-ins are a powerful weapon for Stoke," Phelan told BBC Radio Manchester. "We will look at things to see how we can play against it."

He added: "But our central defenders are not scared to put their head in where it might hurt. That is part of the job.

"You have to deal with what comes your way, whether that is a long throw, crosses or anything else."

Fitness concerns over Patrice Evra (ankle) and Darren Fletcher (knee) have yet to be dispelled, although a host of changes following Tuesday's Carling Cup win over QPR are expected, with Wayne Rooney, Dimitar Berbatov and Cristiano Ronaldo among those likely to return.

It is fair to assume United have been working on how to combat an aerial assault in training this week, with giant striker Ricardo Fuller highlighted as a main danger.

"Stoke have more in their armoury than just a long throw," said Phelan. "There are other aspects to their game that we need to approach as well.

"We will address that on the training ground. But really it is about how we play the game and how we go about our business at Old Trafford.

"We need to put on a good show and that is what we are aiming to do."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2008, All Rights Reserved.

Stoke City
Dimitar Berbatov
League Cup
Premier League
Rory Delap
Manchester United
Patrice Evra
Cristiano Ronaldo
Darren Fletcher
Queens Park Rangers
Wayne Rooney
Ricardo Fuller

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