Fabio: Reds can handle Ronaldo loss

Manchester United defender Fabio has hit back at claims that the Premier League champions are weaker this season following the departures of Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez. The Red Devils, who have started slowly in each of the past two campaigns, have remained true to form in 2009/10, with an uneasy 1-0 home success against Birmingham City last weekend followed up by a shock 1-0 reverse to newly-promoted Burnley on Wednesday night. But despite the signings of Antonio Valencia from Wigan Athletic and ex-Liverpool striker Michael Owen, Sir Alex Ferguson's side's hopes of winning an unprecedented fourth consecutive Premier League crown are already being written off in some quarters, claiming the absence of FIFA World Player of the Year Ronaldo will prove too big a void to fill. However, Brazilian full-back Fabio - whose twin brother Rafael is also at the club - insists the side can still challenge for both domestic and European honours this season. “I do not believe that we are weaker,” said the 19-year-old, who made his league debut against Birmingham last Sunday. “The club has signed Antonio Valencia, who is a very good player, in the place of Cristiano Ronaldo, and [Michael] Owen. “Clearly, Cristiano is the best in the world, but we are going to handle this situation and we will fight for the championship." UNITED FANS! Check FourFourTwo.com’s ever-expanding interviews archive for more stuff to read: Web Exclusives Wayne Rooney, Peter Schmeichel, Carlos Tevez Q&A Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ruud Van Nistlerooy One on One David Beckham, George Best Ask A Silly Question Bryan Robson Boy's A Bit Special Danny Simpson Perfect XI Garth Crooks, Bryan Robson, Sir Bobby Charlton, Eric Cantona What Happened Next? David May, Norman Whiteside Sing When You’re Winning Dominic Monaghan, Ian Brown And Another Thing Being a Big Four fan Plus! Rate United players (and others) on Talentspotter