Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was delighted with the performances of a handful of debutants in the Carling Cup last night.

Ezekiel Fryers limped off in the later stages of the 3-0 win after an impressive display from the start, whilst Paul Pogba's second-half appearance showed the future looks increasingly bright at Old Trafford.

Larnell Cole also enjoyed a late cameo, and Ferguson believes it's important for the younger players to get a taste of competitive action at the earlierst opportunity.

"I thought young Fryers did very well. He showed good composure, wasn't fazed by it which is really good because you always want to see what their temperaments are like because the atmosphere here, as you know, is hostile and he coped with it very well," the Red Devils chief said post-match.

"Paul got a good 45 and young Larnell Cole came on at the end - it's good for them to get taste of the atmosphere and what the first team is like."


 

It was an all-round display to delight the manager, who 19 months ago watched his side lose to an Npower League One Leeds United side on home soil.

"The first half was a tremendous performance by us. The movement off the ball and the possession on the ball was very good," he continued.

"Leeds kept trying and trying, they showed a very determined attitude, they never gave in and we just wanted to make sure we were through."

Veterans Michael Owen and Ryan Giggs stole the headlines for the Barclays Premier League champions though, and the former England international striker continues to knock-on the door for more first team appearances.

Ferguson admits his form, when given the chance, is unquestionable, and that the 31-year-old has simply been unlucky with the level of competition he currently faces to get into the first XI.

"His (Owen's) ratio per games is unbelievable. His second goal in particular was fantastic. I'm very pleased for Michael," he said in relation to the striker's 11 goals in 12 starts.

"It's just unfortunate for him. Nonetheless, he's a fantastic player to have around,"

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