Tuesday, November 2, 2010

United stand-ins delight Ferguson

Gabriel Obertan celebrates his goal
French winger Obertan produced a confident finish to register his first United goal

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson praised his fringe players after they played a key role in the 3-0 Champions League win at Bursaspor.

Gabriel Obertan, 21, and Bebe, 20, scored while Chris Smalling, 20, impressed in defence as United moved to the brink of the last 16.

"I'm very pleased with them," Ferguson said. "They played very well.

"Obertan's developing very well and getting much stronger now. He's a real good talent. His goal showed that."

Questions have been raised over the depth of quality in Ferguson's squad, with striker Wayne Rooney initially questioning the club's continued ability to win honours before signing a new contract.

However after United won in Turkey to move on to 10 points in Group C and within a point of qualification Ferguson suggested that the club's young players are blossoming nicely.

"Gabriel has been derailed quite a bit by injury," added Ferguson of Obertan, whose 73rd-minute shot opened his United account and put United two goals up against the Turkish champions.

"It has been a problem for the lad. He had two or three last season and then picked up another in Texas this pre-season that kept him out for five or six weeks.

"But he is back now and, as he showed against Bursaspor, he has fantastic talent."

Ferguson signed Portuguese striker Bebe for nearly £8m from Vitoria Guimaraes in the summer, even though he had never played a competitive game for the club and the Scot had not seen him play.

However, the manager is certain the 20-year-old has the potential to be a top-class footballer.

"He is a good, young player who still has a lot to learn," stated Ferguson of a striker who registered his second goal for the club. "He still needs a lot of coaching, but the raw talent is there.

"He is brave and quick, and for such a young player he is a good decision maker. The chances of him being able to realise his potential are very good."

However, there were negatives for United with Darren Fletcher, who opened the scoring, and winger Nani both picking up knocks.

Nani will definitely miss Saturday's Premier League match against Wolves, while Fletcher, who injured his ankle, is doubtful.

"Unfortunately, Nani has a groin injury and is out," confirmed Ferguson who should be able to welcome back rested England captain Rio Ferdinand.

"I think Darren will be out as well, so that part has been disappointing. But these things happen in football.

"We may have Darron Gibson back after a bout of flu but Anderson has had a virus as well, and I don't think he will be ready."

Potenshöjande medel -

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