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Alex Ferguson right to use Manchester United youth says Darren Fletcher
Published : 19 Aug 2009 09:58:22
United, who travel to Burnley tonight, have spent just £20m on new recruits following the £80m sale of Cristiano Ronaldo this summer. Antonio Valencia, Gabriel Obertan and free transfer signing Michael Owen have been charged with filling the holes left by Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez, who rejected a permanent deal at Old Trafford in favour of a move to Manchester City. But Ferguson has also spoken highly of the talent within the club's youth ranks, with the likes of Federico Macheda, Danny Welbeck, Fabio da Silva and Craig Cathcart being promoted to the senior squad. And Scotland captain Fletcher, another produce of United's youth system, insists that United's supporters take more satisfaction from a home-grown player thriving the first-team than an expensively acquired import. Fletcher said: "This club strives for young players to come through the ranks. It's within the United ethos. "We have a great crop of young players and some of them featured a lot last season. They are looking very strong and are raring to go. "Everyone, from the players to the coaches in the Academy and our scouts, feels very proud when a player makes it through the system and the United fans want to see that as well. "When the supporters see a local lad coming through and doing well, it sometimes means a lot more than going out and spending £30-40m on someone." Despite the loss of high-profile team-mates, Fletcher is backing the talent of United's young stars to shine through this season. He said: "We train with them every day, so we know what they are capable of. The difficult part is taking that onto the pitch, but a lot of them have already done that. "It's a big squad with a lot of quality, but these boys are a confident bunch. They want to play and they feel they deserve to be there. "It's up to them to go and prove it to the manager, to show that they are ready and that they are good enough. "I definitely believe they are good enough because they wouldn't be at United if they weren't." Fletcher is set to retain his place in midfield tonight as United face Burnley in Turf Moor's first top-flight fixture since 1976. United will be without five key defenders, forcing Ferguson to name a back four of Fabio, John O'Shea, Wes Brown and Patrice Evra. Ferguson admits that the champions must brace themselves for an intimidating atmosphere in east Lancashire tonight. He said: "It can be hard going to a promoted team's ground early on. You can imagine what the atmosphere is going to be like at Burnley, it's going to be red-hot. "It'll be a flag day and it's going to be a big occasion for them, but hopefully that's where our experience helps in these situations." "Burnley is a fantastic story. They've been outside the top league for 33 years and that's a long time. No matter what happens this season, they won't forget this. It'll be a great experience. "I watched them last season, I saw them against Arsenal and they were fantastic. They played really well."