Belfast Telegraph

Ferguson puts faith in youth

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has shrugged off potential concerns over the youthful back line that will spring up against Tottenham at Old Trafford on Monday.

Left-back Patrice Evra returns after missing last Sunday's season-opening win at West Brom, and will be the guiding hand alongside Phil Jones (19), Jonny Evans (23) and Chris Smalling (21), as well as a new goalkeeper in 20-year-old David de Gea.

Ferguson, though, has every confidence in his young guns as he said: "I don't see it so much as a challenge they are facing, more this responsibility because they're in important positions."

He continued: "Of course they don't have the experience that (Rio) Ferdinand, (Nemanja) Vidic and Edwin van der Sar have. You can't beat experience. Top-level players with experience are vital, there's no question about that.

"But we don't have them, yet we're confident in the players who are replacing them.

"They have the potential, temperament and courage to play, there's no doubt about that.

"So I don't see it as a worry for me at all. I'm more looking forward to Monday rather than worrying about it. I think they'll do very well."

Ferguson has even suggested that if new-boy Jones, a £16.5million buy from Blackburn in the summer, Evans and Smalling perform to the level he expects, he will face a selection dilemma when Vidic and Ferdinand return from injury.

Ferdinand, who limped off with a hamstring injury at West Brom, is due to return against Arsenal next Sunday. As for Vidic, he is not due back until the middle of next month at the earliest after he too made an early exit at The Hawthorns.

Ferguson added: "When they're both fit, or one of them is fit, then I've a decision to make, and I know they're both aware of the abilities of the other players, no question of that."


From Belfast Telegraph