Chris Smalling praises youth players at Manchester United

Chris Smalling
© PA Photos
Manchester United defender Chris Smalling reveals that Red Devils youngsters are "gelling"

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has backed manager Alex Ferguson’s decision to give the younger players at Old Trafford a chance in the first team.

The 69-year-old manager, who lost veterans Gary Neville and Paul Scholes last season to retirement, featured youngsters Danny Welbeck, Tom Cleverley, Phil Jones and Jonny Evans in United’s 2-1 away victory over West Brom at the weekend.

“The manager has shown all pre-season he's willing to give the young players a go and he's thrown them into big games,” Smalling told MUTV. “So it's great to see them step up.

"Everyone's really gelling and, with Jonny [Evans] and people coming in like Fabio, it's great to see.

"If you do well, the manager will keep you in the team. It's a big marker to all the other players and the rest of the squad that, if you play well, it doesn't matter how old you are. If you've got that ability, the manager is going to put you in."

Meanwhile, Rio Ferdinand has been ruled out for six weeks with a hamstring injury he suffered at the Hawthorns.

Rio Ferdinand
Read Next:
Ferdinand out for six weeks

1Manchester CityMan City96212091120
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs9540134919
7Manchester UnitedMan Utd94231312114
11Crystal Palace93241212011
12Leicester CityLeicester93241115-411
13West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom92431010010
15West Ham UnitedWest Ham93151017-710
16Stoke CityStoke9234916-79
18Hull City9216822-147
19Swansea CitySwansea9126815-75