Gibson and Evans ready for final fling
Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that Jonny Evans and Darron Gibson will play in Sunday’s Carling Cup final against Aston Villa.
Ferguson is keeping faith with his young guns and Londonderry lad Gibson and Newtownabbey’s Evans can now look forward to their second successive Carling Cup decider after the penalty shoot-out win over Tottenham a year ago.
The two Ulstermen have helped United earn a return trip to Wembley and Ferguson knows another showpiece occasion will boost their football education.
“I am thinking about the younger ones to give them that smell (of success),” said Ferguson.
“There are two or three that come into that category, like (Darron) Gibson, (Jonny) Evans and Rafael.
“They obviously have to be considered. But it would be nice to win the cup having got to Wembley and got through those semi-final ties against Manchester City. You want to get to the final and do well.”
Arsene Wenger may have described it as a “non-trophy” but Ferguson insists the Carling Cup is a pot worth winning.
Not even the knowledge Sunday's encounter with Aston Villa at Wembley will lack the raw emotion and drama of those two memorable semi-final confrontations with City last month can shake Ferguson's determination to add another trophy to his incredible Manchester United CV.
So, while Wenger disputes the notion a Carling Cup win would represent the end of his Arsenal trophy drought, it is a stance Ferguson does not share.
“Wembley is an occasion. It has always been that way,” said Ferguson. “But the only way you can enjoy Wembley is by winning. We have got an opportunity to win something on Sunday. It is not a nice day when you lose.”
Ferguson did once view the League Cup as a nuisance in United's pursuit of the major prizes.
Although the Red Devils did reach three finals in four years in the early 1990s, between 1994 and 2003 there was nothing.
Yet this weekend, United will compete in their fourth in eight years and their third in five, confirmation of the success enjoyed by the Football League's decision to exempt teams involved in European combat to the last 32, third-round stage.