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Brown has faith in United youth
Published : 04 Dec 2010 13:31:31
Wes Brown insists the future of Manchester United's defence is in safe hands despite their shocking Carling Cup collapse at West Ham. Although it has been suggested Jonny Evans will be taken out of the firing line in an effort to rebuild his shattered confidence after a tough season so far, Sir Alex Ferguson is again expected to go with the younger end of his squad for Tuesday night's Champions League encounter with Valencia. The postponement of the Premier League trip to Blackpool this weekend might encourage Ferguson to name a slightly stronger side against the Spanish outfit. But with matches against Arsenal and Chelsea looming before Christmas, Ferguson will not want to take any chances, which means the likes of Chris Smalling and the Da Silva brothers, Rafael and Fabio, can hope to play some part. And, while that worrying defeat at Upton Park has caused some concern, Brown is adamant the Reds are in safe hands. "We have some fantastic young players at the back," he told Inside United. "You could play a good back five with some of them in there; Ben Amos in goal, Rafael at right-back, Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling in the centre and Fabio at left-back. That is the next generation. "When you talk about becoming a top defender, sometimes it is down to time. "Of course you need the talent but you also need the experience of dealing with the pressure at the top level and the different scenarios you face as a defender. "These young lads will learn a lot from every game they play." Some of the lessons are extremely harsh, both personally and collectively. In the whole scheme of things, the loss of a Carling Cup quarter-final, no matter how heavily, will not linger long in the memory. Defeat to Bayern Munich in last season's Champions League hurt much more, one of the game's tipping points proving to be Rafael's dismissal early in the second half. It has been suggested the Brazilian lacks the defensive discipline to reach the highest level. Brown disagrees - and the same is also true of Fabio. "They are great lads who train so hard," said the 31-year-old. "They just have this great desire to win. "You can see whenever they play they are totally focussed on doing their best for the team - and see how much they love driving forward as well as defending. "As long as they keep progressing, I don't see any reason why they can't become our first-choice full-backs in future." After registering four straight wins since opening their campaign with a lacklustre goalless draw against Rangers at Old Trafford, United have already booked a place in the last 16. A single point will be enough to confirm top spot in Group C, which would ensure Ferguson's side avoid Spanish heavyweights Real Madrid and Barcelona in the first knockout round. Do you have faith in United's young defenders? Have your say.