FOOTBALL NEWS

26/10/2010 10:42, Report by James Tuck

Youth key to cup success

Sir Alex Ferguson will field his usual blend of youth and experience in tonight's Carling Cup tie against Wolves, a policy he feels is responsible for United's recent success in the competition.

United are bidding to win the trophy for the third consecutive season and Sir Alex has confirmed many of the fringe players who featured in the 5-2 win over Scunthorpe in the last round will feature again.

Sir Alex has long used this competition to introduce his younger players to the bigger stage, though he's also started to select some Champions League games for the same purpose, with the likes of Chris Smalling and Kiko Macheda starting against Bursaspor last week.

The Reds boss told MUTV: "We have a big complement of players here, and Fabio, Gibson, Kiko, Obertan, Bebe, Evans and Smalling will all be involved against Wolves.

"I thought our young players did very well at Scunthorpe. We had seven chances and scored five goals. It’s a great ratio – I wish I could say that every week!

"There’s been a slight change this season in that we feel we should be giving some experience to the younger players in European games too, as another stage in their progress. We did that with Kiko, Smalling, Rafael and Kuszczak against Bursaspor, to see how they would react, and we’re very pleased with that.

"So it’ll be a young but very capable team tonight. We’ve been doing that in the League Cup for quite a few years now and we’ve had good success in it.

"But I expect a tough game. You know exactly what you are going to get from Mick McCarthy's teams."

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