Fergie to keep faith in the 'new United' for cup clash
Sir Alex Ferguson claims his latest batch of Fledglings could become his next great Manchester United side.
Ever since a teenage Ryan Giggs came through two decades ago, young players have been at the heart of all of Fergie's successful teams.
And he feels his current crop of youngsters could carry United to further glory over the rest of the decade.
Talents like Federico Macheda, Javier Hernandez and Rafael Da Silva will be Ferguson's legacy and he wants to ensure United carry on winning when he has retired.
Ferguson is delighted by how well his young players have performed in the Carling Cup, helping United to back-to-back triumphs and will put his faith in them again for tonight's quarter-final against West Ham.
"The young players who played against Wolves in the last round are hopefully the future of the club," said the United manager. "There's a great potential there.
"All we have to do is develop that potential and realise it. By the time they are 24 or 25 we hope they will be the next Manchester United.
"They have responded very well. Over the last three years, the two Da Silvas, Welbeck, Macheda are among those who have a League Cup winner's medal.
"It's a healthy position for them to be in because they get to play in cup finals and judge how to handle it."
Fergie's Fledglings are favourite to lift the trophy for a club record third season in a row and he says that is a huge incentive for him and his players.
After shunning the competition a decade ago, Ferguson takes the cup seriously and United have won 12 consecutive ties over the last three seasons.
"It would be great to win it three times in a row," he said. "I think we were the first team to win it twice in a row since it became the Carling Cup and that was a feat in itself.
"The League Cup has become an interesting trophy now. We come into it a bit later and it gives me an opportunity to play the young players as I did against Wolves."
Ferguson will change his team for the 148th successive game since May 2008 for tonight's Upton Park showdown and his rotation policy clearly works because they have gone 29 matches unbeaten since April 3.
Ferguson admits he has an embarrassment of riches up front with his strikers in such good form.
"We made changes at Rangers last week and we will make changes again at West Ham," he said. "The young players will play and it's a great challenge for them. We've got a very strong squad, particularly in the front positions.
"Wayne Rooney is back and I've got Berbatov, Nani, Obertan, Bebe, Macheda and Hernandez. Ryan Giggs is also back again."
Giggs agrees with Ferguson that the Carling Cup is ideal for blooding the club's young players and says winning in 2005 was vital to Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo's development.
"For the likes of Wayne, I think it was his first trophy," he said. "It gives you that taste, celebrating with the team afterwards and going home with your medal.
"No matter what trophy or medal it is it gives you that hunger to win more. That was certainly the case for me and Wayne.
"The manager gives a lot of young players games all the way to the final. So it's a great experience for young players who perhaps haven't won anything. It gives you that hunger, desire of what it feels like to win a trophy and a medal and leaves you wanting more."