Phelan sounds rallying cry

Manchester United number two Mike Phelan has called on the rest of the squad to step up in the continuing absence of Wayne Rooney.

The Red Devils have seen their Premier League title chances severely dented and Champions League hopes ended in recent weeks while Rooney has been sidelined with ankle ligament damage.

In the absence of the 34-goal England striker, the Old Trafford club's season is in danger of petering out into a major disappointment.

However, speaking in the build-up to Saturday's must-win Manchester derby against an in-form City side at Eastlands, Phelan has urged the rest of the squad to prove that they can cope without their talismanic frontman.

"We can't rely on that situation (with Rooney)," said Phelan.

"Wayne Rooney is having an exceptional season, we can't get away from that. But this is Manchester United, we have a lot of other quality players in the squad.

"At times you are going to miss people. When that happens, others have to come to the front and show the calibre that brought them to the club in the first place."

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