United fringe impresses Fergie

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Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was full of praise for his players after last night's 3-0 victory in the Carling Cup last 16 clash against Aldershot.

A mix of youth and experience helped guide the Red Devils past a potential banana skin at the EBB Stadium, with goals from Dimitar Berbatov, Michael Owen and Antonio Valencia seeing the Barclays Premier League champions through to the next round.

Following Sunday's 6-1 humbling at the hands of 'noisy neighbours' Manchester City, the result provided Ferguson with a much needed boost as young players impressed and injured seniors returned to the fold.

"It's difficult picking the team as we've a fantastic squad with so many good players," said the United manager post-match.

"If you look at that tonight, we had 11 fresh players from Sunday and that tells you how strong the squad is. Paul Pogba, Ravel Morrison and Larnell Cole... I'd like to have played them all but the ones who really needed a game had to play.

"Any time Owen plays, he scores. You can't ignore that - he's a fantastic professional with a fantastic ratio of goals per games. Berbatov had a fantastic game tonight and scored a tremendous goal, it was a marvellous piece of football and Dimitar slotted it home.

"But they've all done well - Antonio Valencia and Cleverley's back and that's a good thing for us because he's an outstanding footballer and it's his first game for a while - since the Bolton match. Vidic got 90 minutes and I think he needed it. Until he got his breathing going, he was feeling it and blowing quite hard. He's a big lad and needs games."

Ferguson was full of praise for the hosts after the game, paying tribute to the Npower League Two side's efforts against their superior opponents.

Whilst United dominated possession and chances throughout proceedings, Dean Holdsworth's side pressed until the end and it was an attitude and endeavor that impressed the Old Trafford chief.

"Aldershot fought really hard and must take a lot of credit as they never stopped running or pressing the ball. They put a good shift in but we showed our quality at times and could've scored a few more at the end of the game when they tired," he added.

"I'm satisified - the most important thing is to win the game in cup ties and we're into the next round now. I think we showed professionalism, discipline and kept consistency in passing the ball. That's a good habit to have in this type of match and the players enjoyed it."

League Cup
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