15/02/2013 09:44, Report by A Marshall & N Coppack
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Patience pays off

Sir Alex Ferguson has spoken of the value of being patient with young players after the likes of Danny Welbeck, Phil Jones and David De Gea shone in Madrid in midweek.

Welbeck, who has been with the club since the age of nine, scored the Reds' vital away goal against Real and displayed tremendous confidence while De Gea made his critics eat their words with a fabulous performance.

Jones was handed an important role in midfield, but the manager also had a word for Tom Cleverley, who ended up being an unused subsitute at the Bernabeu. Certainly those who have come through the ranks at Carrington are providing great examples as role models for those currently in the youth team squad.

"We're always patient with young players," stated Sir Alex during Friday's press conference. "We're patient with Tom Cleverley. We sent him out on loan on four different occasions and he's matured. Now he’s an important member of the squad. You have to show patience. If you think they have the ability then you have to be prepared to wait for that.

"Maturity helps [goalkeepers too]. There are very few goalkeepers who are the finished article at 20 years of age. There are some examples, like Gianluigi Buffon and Petr Cech. That's not always the case. 

"Peter Schmeichel didn't join us until he was 27 and then gave us eight great years. Normally for goalkeepers it's the mid-20s until you get the finished article.

"A good performance helps everyone. It gives them confidence, there’s no doubt about that. It won’t change him. He [De Gea] is a down-to-earth boy.

"As for Danny, his goal won't do him any harm. He's not a boy who lacks confidence. He wasn't fazed by the occasion. It's a great boost for the younger players coming up behind him,

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Premier League