FOOTBALL NEWS

20/05/2013 21:58, Report by Adam Bostock
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Joyce praises U21 champions

Warren Joyce hailed the character, fitness and winning mentality of his Manchester United Under-21 players after a triumphant end to the season at Old Trafford.

After trailing 0-2 at half-time to a talented Tottenham Hotspur side, the young Reds responded brilliantly after the break to win the Barclays Under-21 Premier League final with goals from Marnick Vermijl and Larnell Cole (2).

"To be fair to the first half, I thought we started the game well," said Joyce, in a post-match interview interrupted by jubilant players soaking him with energy drinks.

"The two goals we conceded were due to poor individual errors really. Obviously the second half was better and our players' heart, character and fitness shone through in the end. I thought we thoroughly deserved to win."

The 3-2 triumph capped a fine season for an often-changing side and continued the trajectory for a number of players involved in the club's FA Youth Cup victory of two years ago.

"The bulk of this side won the Youth Cup, won everything they could possibly win last season, they've won the Manchester Senior Cup this year and they've won that trophy tonight," Joyce acknowledged.

"They've shown a lot of character. They can take criticism, they can come back and dig themselves out of holes. That's what you're looking for in a Manchester United player."

Joyce was asked about one player in particular, substitute Tom Lawrence who played a key role in turning the Tottenham tie on its head.

"Tom's not had a lot of football and as I said to him before the game, he can't sustain 90 minutes," said Joyce. "If we'd had a game plan and looking

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