Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fergie right to play his young guns

Sir Alex Ferguson was right to stick with his young guns for Sunday's FA Cup semi-final even though it ended in defeat for the Red Devils.

The Scot has come under fire from the media and fans alike for fielding a virtual reserve side in the goalless draw with Everton at Wembley.

His under-strength line-up almost pulled off a victory, but for the failure of Mike Riley to award a penalty for Phil Jagielka's second-half challenge on Danny Welbeck.

And as expected Fergie has been slaughtered in the press for devaluing the FA Cup after United failed to repeat their shoot-out success against Spurs in the Carling Cup and went on to lose 4-2 on penalties.

The tabloids have questioned how Fergie could treat the fans and the world's greatest tournament like a pre-season kick about and toss their realistic hopes of a quintuple aside.

Well, simple the United chief knows the Premier League and Champions League are their prioirities, but more importantly he wanted to show a belief that the players who had got United to the semi-final were good enough to compete there.

And for the most part Fergie's XI, with an average age of just 22, were the best side and the only team who were looking to win the game.

Of course he would have preferred to have won the game, but he still believes he fielded the right side and the experience gained by the likes of Welbeck, Kicko Macheda, Darron Gibson, Fabio and Rafael will benefit them in the long run.

His youngs stars now know he has faith in them and the confidence and belief instilled will also pay dividends long term.

"I am absolutely convinced I picked the right team," said Fergie.

"I have no regrets about it at all.

"I knew there would be some criticism because it did not work for us.

"But we are coming to that period now where it is game after game. It is all go and I need to pick the right teams.

"It is not nice to lose a semi-final and this one is no different.

"But there is enough freshness in the rest of the squad for Wednesday now, which is how we planned it."

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