International matches take place this week meaning several players came off ‘injured’ during the weekend’s Premiership fixtures.

In the past, Ferguson branded Internional friendlies, like the one England will be playing against Germany on Wednesday, ‘a waste of time’, after Darren Fletcher picked up an injury whilst playing for Scotland.

“We’ve had a bad blow with Darren and it emphasises the futility of playing these friendly games,” said Ferguson. “Darren was recovering from a chest infection and we rested him last Sunday against Liverpool because of that. He should have played for 45 or 60 minutes at most but he played the full game and is now out for six weeks. Every manager knows deep down that they are a waste of time.”

John O’Shea, who enjoyed a rare start for United against Stoke on Saturday, claims that despite what people may think, Sir Alex Ferguson doesn’t put pressure on his players to pull out of International duty.

“He never does that,” said O’Shea in response to suggestions that the Scot persuades his players to pull out. “He only does it if players are injured. Obviously there is lots of pressure on club managers, but the manager always likes his players to play international football because it improves their game.”