Sir Alex Ferguson has called on frustrated members of the Manchester United squad to be patient over receiving game time, with the manager insisting that come the end of the year, depth will be of the upmost importance in keeping United’s title winning hopes alive.
Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic look to have a fight on their hands for places when they recover from injury, with Phil Jones and Chris Smalling showing they can cut it in starting positions.
Similarly, Danny Welbeck has proven his worth up front, and Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Owen will be struggling to get any minutes ahead of Javier Hernandez and Wayne Rooney.
And in the wing position, Ashley Young is already starring in his post after signing for the club this summer, leaving Park Ji-Sung and Nani, along with Antonio Valencia, all fighting to be counted by Ferguson.
But the United manager believes that everyone will get their chance to shine at Old Trafford this season, after the international breaks have passed and injuries and physical exhaustion set in.
"I have no help because you have international breaks happening all the time. September, October, November. It is not until December that the squad comes into play,” Ferguson told the Manchester Evening News.
“From December through until May, everyone will realise the importance of having a squad and also the part they play. They will all play a part.
“At the moment, we just have to bite the bullet and play the team that is doing well, knowing I have a very good squad.”
Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck were singled out by Ferguson, who only made three signings this summer, as part of the future of the club as he goes about creating yet another generation of trophy winners.
“Players like Tom and Danny, for example, have only played a few games. They have potential,” Ferguson added.
“We are very enthusiastic about that potential. Hopefully, we can fulfil it.
“The name of the game is what they achieve. There is a long way to go. Maybe some form will taper off. That is when the squad comes into play.
“When they are doing very well, I have to let it carry on.”
Ferguson stressed the importance of performance on the pitch as well as off; the 69-year-old will no doubt have a plethora of squad members desperate to get their chance on the pitch, but they have to deliver while they’re there as well.
He argued: “The important thing is how they do on the pitch. It is not just their enthusiasm and energy. It is their abilities. That is why I am picking them.
“The boy Cleverley, for instance, we toyed about starting the Community Shield with him but we looked at the power of De Jong and Toure and thought it is a big ask for a young kid to go in against these tremendously physical players.
“But, when he came on, he changed the game. He picked himself after that.”
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