Papers: Kids cope with hell
David McDonnell writes in The Mirror...
Turk heart: Fergie proud of second string
Sir Alex Ferguson hailed the character of his young Manchester United players despite them suffering a first Champions League defeat this season. With United having already secured top spot in Group H, Ferguson fielded one of his youngest-ever sides in Europe and threw them into one of football's most hostile arenas. Defeat may have ended United's 100 per cent record in the competition this season, but the learning curve for Ferguson's youngsters was of far greater importance than the final result. With an average age of 23 years and 10 months, United's starting line-up was the third-youngest Ferguson has selected in the Champions League. But the United boss praised the way his largely inexperienced side handled the fanatical atmosphere in front of a fervent crowd of 50,278. "The first thing to say is the players handled the atmosphere," said Ferguson. "Their temperament was good and parts of their game were good. We suffered at set-pieces with the lack of experience and height, which was always going to be an issue, but I'm satisfied."
Most of the UK daily newspapers are generally positive about the performance of United's youngsters in Turkey.
The Daily Express
' Richard Tanner wrote: "The game was a real eye-opener for one of the youngest teams United have fielded in Europe", while James Ducker in The Times
wrote: "Sir Alex spoke beforehand about the importance of a young United team not embarrassing themselves in Istanbul. They had, he said, the club’s “reputation” to think about. There was certainly no disgrace in defeat last night."