Manchester United v Aston Villa

Scholes back for United

April 13, 2012
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that Paul Scholes will return to the Manchester United midfield for their Premier League match against Aston Villa at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Paul Scholes
GettyImagesPaul Scholes: A key performer for Man United

Scholes, who came out of retirement this season to help reinvigorate United, was rested for the surprise 1-0 defeat at Wigan on Wednesday, - a result that allowed title-rivals Manchester City to move within five points of the league leaders.

Ferguson has defended his decision to rest the veteran midfielder for the trip to the DW Stadium, but Scholes, 37, will return as the Red Devils look to consolidate their title charge against Villa.

"Paul has shown his influence since he came back but I did the right thing to rest him on Wednesday,'' Ferguson said. "He will be fresh on Sunday and he will play.''

Such has been the impact of Scholes on United since resuming his career that he has also been backed to return to the England team for this summer's European Championship.

United youngsters Phil Jones and Chris Smalling have been taken aback by the quality Scholes possess and both feel he would be a huge addition to England's squad.

"He is unique," Smalling told The Times. "You can see there are moments in the game when it is all rushed and he settles it down when he gets the ball.

"He has the ability to dictate. Come the summer, there may well be calls for him to be included in the squad. It will be because he is a player in great form and I am sure [he is what] any England manager would want."

Scholes last played for England in 2004 but Jones is convinced he could return. "When you see him in training, some of the things he does are a joke," Jones said. "It wouldn't surprise me [if he went to the Euros]."

Meanwhile, United boss Ferguson does not endorse the view of City manager Roberto Mancini that there is not enough time for the Blues to come back in the title race, but he does believe Wednesday's defeat should be put into context of an overall run that brought United 34 points from their previous 12 games.

"We have to put it in a bit of perspective," he said. "You drop points in the second half of the season. We have done it most years. There has been an odd year when we have gone on a long run without losing but a couple of years back we lost 4-1 to Liverpool and won the league.

"You do drop points on the run-in. City and ourselves have both experienced that. But from the position we were in a few months ago, to where we are today, we have to be delighted.

"The great part of our club is that we do recover, and we have to recover from Wednesday."