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Warren's a winner

"As for coach Warren Joyce, somebody who openly does not put too much stock in winning games at this level, the irony is that he's really rather good at it."

- ManUtd.com's Adam Marshall

21/05/2013 11:58, Report by Adam Marshall
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Blog: Pride in youth

You won't be seeing too many back-page headlines regarding Manchester United's Barclays Under-21 Premier League triumph this morning nor photos of Warren Joyce and his youngsters celebrating lifting the trophy.

The 3-2 triumph against Tottenham at Old Trafford will not resonate too far outside of Manchester with the football world already immersed in transfer speculation and the managerial merry-go-round which dominates most fans and pundits' thinking.

Yet it's fair to say that this is what the club is all about and there should be immense pride at what has been achieved at this level. The steady progress of developing youngsters does not make a good story in the media but it is the ethos that Sir Matt Busby's success was founded upon and the mantle was taken up with gusto by Sir Alex Ferguson.

Last season, Joyce's side won the national Reserves title, the Manchester Senior Cup and the Lancashire Senior Cup, representing a clean sweep of domestic trophies. Only Coritiba prevented the squad from adding the Dallas Cup to the cabinet in 2012. It seemed an impossible task to match that campaign but the will to win shone through again on Monday night.

Spurs are a formidable side at Under-21 level, having topped both qualifying groups in the build-up to the season finale - notably finishing ahead of the Reds on both occasions. With some powerful and talented players at their disposal, the North Londoners led 2-0 at the break and the margin would have been doubled but for the intervention of the woodwork.

United's progress in the competition was due largely to a remarkable defensive resilience that yielded nine clean sheets from the previous 12 league fixtures. Cruelly shorn of the attacking class of Will Keane, sidelined all season through injury, outscoring opponents did not look to be in this team's make-up.   

So it looked a mountain to climb at Old Trafford and even the introduction of Tom Lawrence, who has been more patient than most with 16 substitute appearances this term, still did

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