Premier League - Ferguson full of praise for youngsters

Mon, 22 Aug 23:44:00 2011

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson was full of praise for his youthful team after an excellent second half performance against Tottenham at Old Trafford.

Man Utd v Tottenham

United stormed to a 3-0 win in their first home game of the season thanks to goals by Danny Welbeck, Anderson and Wayne Rooney, all after the break.

"The second-half performance was absolutely fantastic," Ferguson said.

"It was a fast game in the first half, it was end-to-end. Tottenham had a lot of possession, but in the second half we just took off."

Welbeck's performance was particularly pleasing to Ferguson, whose side boasted an average age of just 23 and 191 days - the youngest to be fielded by any Premier League team since the last day of the 2008-2009 season, and United's second youngest ever in the Premier League.

"The first half he (Welbeck) didn't play as a centre-forward. He was too much in midfield," Ferguson said.

"We needed more presence up front, a target up front and in the second half he was better that way. He's always had great ability Danny.

"It was always a situation that we've had to wait for him. He's still only 20 - he's got a great future."

As well as getting his name on the scoresheet, Welbeck also set up the second for Anderson as United joined local rivals Manchester City and Wolves at the top of the table with six points from the opening two games of the season.

"Every single point is vital. We need as many points and keep the ball rolling," Welbeck told Sky Sports.

"The tempo started fast, but some wise words from the gaffer at half-time helped.

"I think it showed how well the manager has got the squad combined. Once you are in the starting XI you have to work hard to keep your place."

Spurs manager Harry Redknapp was left to rue his side's failure to maintain their level of play after what had been an impressive first-half showing from the visitors.

"It's disappointing. After 70 minutes there was nothing in game," Redknapp said.

"We had as much possession and I thought we were bang in it. I thought we would get a point.

"Then we brought on a striker and opened up and we went out of the game badly."

Wantaway midfielder Luka Modric was not selected by Redknapp, but the manager insisted the Croat, heavily linked with a move to Chelsea, will remain a Tottenham player.

"For sure, he's a fantastic professional," he added.

"We need him back playing. He'll be here and get back and work.

"We need one or two more players. We need some characters.

"We've got good footballers but we just lack a spine to the team. I know who we need and if the chairman can help me bring them in we'll be fine."


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