Ferguson targeting first-team integration

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Football News

Sir Alex Ferguson is renowned for his ability to integrate youngsters into his Manchester United first-team, with his famed 'class of 92' perhaps the biggest success story to come through the ranks during his 25-year stay at Old Trafford.

But the Red Devils boss is carefully nurturing another talented group of teenagers currently plying their trade in the club's academy - and with an FA Youth Cup already under their belts, these players have also been tipped for a bright future in the game.

"The youngsters have taken part in a lot of first-team training now," explained Ferguson. "[Ravel] Morrison, [Paul] Pogba, [Larnell] Cole, [Jesse] Lingard and [Zeki] Fryers: we've stepped them up to our squad.

"They enjoy the challenge and it's an opportunity for us to see what they're like in these sessions, how they cope with the older players.

"It's how they handle the likes of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic if they give them a bit of stick - it's a good part of a young player's progress when they can be involved with the big boys."

Ferguson is enjoying watching his latest batch of youth products training alongside his established first-team players at the club's Carrington training ground, and admits he is relishing the prospect of developing another homegrown title-winning squad.

"I used to threaten Bryan Robson all the time and tell him the 1992 team would beat you," he reflected. "We did have a practice game together, the first team versus the Class of 92.

"The first team won 3-1 and Robson was in one of his angry moods. He was very determined that day! It was brilliant, they were absolutely revved up for it and the young boys were thinking: 'Why are we doing this and can we beat them?'

"There was an element of doubt in them and I think there was a lot of intimidation going on. I can't remember who was referee but it wasn't me!"

Premier League
Manchester United

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