David Moyes has reiterated his determination to uphold the Manchester United tradition of giving talented young players a chance to flourish.
The Reds boss has not been shy to pick youthful line-ups in his first season at Old Trafford; in United’s last game against Aston Villa, six of the starting XI were aged 24 or under, including 18-year-old Adnan Januzaj.
But Moyes also pointed out that, despite their tender years, the likes of Danny Welbeck, Phil Jones, David De Gea, Rafael ,Tom Cleverley and Chris Smalling all have substantial experience at the top level.
"I have to be looking out for the long-term future of Manchester United," Moyes told reporters at his press conference. "Part of my remit is to introduce young players and look to the Academy to see what we can bring through from the youth.
"It has been a club that has always tried to promote a lot of those boys but the ones you mention [Welbeck, Jones, De Gea etc] are quite experienced here. They are all pretty consistent Manchester United players now.
"You could probably say Adnan is the least experienced but we also need the experienced players [such as Giggs, Vidic and Ferdinand] as we’ve used them in a lot of the games."
Nevertheless, when asked if United were missing someone to bridge the gap between youth and experience in the team, Moyes accepted: "I take that point. I think there could be a little bit of space for something between a few younger ones and a few older ones."
Evans, Jones and Smalling have featured prominently in the campaign so far but Moyes has no concerns about their fitness.
"I don’t think they should have issues – they are three young men who shouldn’t be worried about injuries but playing 40 to 50 games a season," he said. "I want them to be robust: they have to be tough and ready to play all the games."