Fergie to give youngsters second chance

MANCHESTER - Sir Alex Ferguson is set to forgive his young players for their Champions League blip and give them another chance to impress in the League Cup.

MANCHESTER - Sir Alex Ferguson is set to forgive his young players for their Champions League blip and give them another chance to impress in the League Cup.

United entertain Tottenham in today's quarterfinal match, a rerun of last season's final, which Ferguson's side won after a dramatic penalty shootout at Wembley.

The United manager has used the League Cup to blood the younger members of his squad but after last Wednesday's surprise home defeat to Besiktas in the Champions League, there has been speculation whether he will throw them back into the spotlight so quickly.

Danny Welbeck, Federico Macheda and Darron Gibson all started as United surrendered their 23-match unbeaten home run in Europe following Besiktas's 1-0 triumph.

Despite impressing against Besiktas, Gabriel Obertan, a ß3million (R33,1million) signing from Bordeaux in the summer, did not even make the bench for Saturday's 4-1 win at Portsmouth and will be itching to impress again as he looks to establish himself at Old Trafford.

Ben Foster, the hero of the shootout victory at Wembley last March, will also be keen to feature after a season in which the England keeper has found himself criticised for some high-profile mistakes.

Nani also played in the final but his United career appears to have stalled and the Portuguese winger has admitted his frustration at being unable to hold down a regular first-team spot this term.

Following the exit of Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer, Nani was seen as the heir apparent but that has not transpired.

"Some big clubs have been mentioned for Nani, like Milan and Benfica, but there has been no contact made with us - and we wouldn't entertain selling him anyway," said Ferguson.

"It is no criticism of Nani, but the way things have developed in the last few weeks have gone against him.

"I have spoken to him and told him that he must take his chance when it comes along." - Sapa-AFP

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