Mike Phelan, Kieran McKenna and Michael Carrick at Old Trafford.

Phelan: Our coaching staff have serious talent

Thursday 31 January 2019 07:00

Manchester United's history of cultivating young talent among players is now extending to the club's coaching setup, according to first-team coach Mike Phelan.

The 55-year-old was part of Sir Alex Ferguson's backroom team when the Reds' playing staff included Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Michael Carrick, now caretaker manager and first-team coach respectively.

The latter is in his first season since retiring as a player, while fellow first-team coach Kieran McKenna is also in his maiden campaign with the senior side, and Phelan sees great promise when he looks down the United bench.

Mike Phelan says

"The balance is good, the feedback is good, we get on. It's a nice, split age range so we've all got different ideas, we communicate a lot and it's quite refreshing."

Asked about the potential shown by Carrick and McKenna, Phelan told us: "They have got some serious talent. I think Michael now is progressing really well. He’s finding his feet in the organisational side of it, and he’s got a great opinion on the game and has been an exceptional player.

"Kieran has been a player outside of this football club, then he has come in and coached in the Academy, so he knows the youth side of things. He’s been here a while now, he’s progressed on, and bringing all those methods he’s got to the fore now with the first team. It’s exciting and enthusiastic."

Though the current iteration of United's coaching set-up has been in place for less than six weeks, during which time nine games have yielded eight wins and a draw, Phelan feels the group's dynamic is already highly functional.

"It is working," he said. "The balance is good, the feedback is good, we get on. It’s a nice, split age range, so we’ve all got different ideas, we communicate a lot and it is quite refreshing. Ole sits there at the top of the tree, and I hover in between making sure everything happens the way I feel the way Manchester United should work.

"It takes me back a little bit into the processes we had before [under Sir Alex], which was a little bit of youth, a bit of experience, a little bit of knowledge. There’s an extra dynamic in there, that is all part of a football club."

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