Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Shield win 'to boost United youth'

Chris Smalling says it was great for United's youngsters to experience winning the Community Shield

Chris Smalling believes Manchester United's youth brigade will get an additional nudge forward as a direct result of Sunday's 2-0 Community Shield win over Wigan.

Wilfried Zaha, Jesse Lingard and Adnan Januzaj were the three stand-out performers during United's pre-season tour of the Far East and Australia.

Zaha was rewarded with a starting berth at Wembley last weekend, while 18-year-old Belgian Januzaj was on the bench.

Although Lingard was not included in the match-day squad he was on hand for the subsequent celebrations as United emerged victorious thanks to Robin van Persie's double.

In his two years with the Red Devils, Smalling has seen at first hand the winning mentality that exists throughout the club.

And he is confident it is already starting to rub off on his three newest team-mates.

"Celebrating in the dressing room after winning a trophy is always a fantastic feeling," Smalling told manutd.com. "It just makes you hungrier to do it again.

"It's great for some of the new lads like Wilf, Jesse and Adnan to experience that feeling - it really gets you in the zone and shows you what you're fighting for."

Although Lingard and Januzaj might well have been loaned out had Sir Alex Ferguson remained in charge, new manager David Moyes has indicated a desire to keep them both at Old Trafford.

The continued lack of new signings as the hours tick down to Saturday's tough-looking opening-day trip to Swansea make it impossible for Moyes to consider weakening his squad at present.

But Smalling is convinced anyway that Moyes will continue the long-established strategy of handing younger players their opportunity, which Ferguson was so keen on.

"This manager is the same as the previous manager when it comes to giving young players a chance," Smalling said.

"He gave them a good chance on tour and they've shown what they can do.

"It can be quite daunting when you go away with the first team for a few weeks but they've really bedded in."

Meanwhile, United have confirmed global watchmaker Bulova as their official timekeeper and global partner on a three-year sponsorship agreement.

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