Sir Alex Ferguson has ordered Cristiano Ronaldo to cut back on his practice to prevent the PFA Player of the Year burning himself out.

With so many defenders injured, and both Park Ji-sung and Louis Saha sidelined as well, there will be even more pressure on the 22-year-old to deliver over the final weeks of the campaign.

And Ferguson is anxious the winger does not extend himself too much on the training ground.

‘You have to drag Cristiano off the training pitch sometimes because he likes to practice so much,’ said Ferguson.

‘It is part of his but maybe he overdid it a little last week.

‘We are trying to preserve his energies for the important games, so we are going to have to cut back on his practice.

‘He really has been carrying the banner for us for a long time now but we are really down on players now so there is a big onus on the boy.’

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