Youth is no gamble: Sir Alex Ferguson defends untested Manchester United team for Galatasaray trip

By Paddy von Behr

Opting for youth is not a gamble according to Sir Alex Ferguson ahead of Manchester United’s visit to Galatasaray in the Champions League tonight.

United have already qualified top of their group and remain the only team in the competition with a 100% record – a far cry from last season’s failure in the competition – and Ferguson is resting some big names for the match.

As many as seven youngsters could make their Champions League debut tonight and Ferguson is aware of the risks involved in his selection.

“We don’t consider the young players a gamble,” he said. “What we do consider is our reputation and we have to be fair to the other teams in the group.

“When we discussed the team for tomorrow we had to give serious consideration to how the media and the public would react, so we had to think hard about the team we picked.”

Rio Ferdinand, Robin van Persie, Patrice Evra and Paul Scholes are among the big names not to have made the trip, but Phil Jones could feature for the first time this season.

The former Blackburn defender missed the start of the campaign through injury and could return to play a key role in the coming months.

“It’s a big day for Phil Jones,” said Ferguson.

“He’s been out all season but he’s done enough training now to make sure his fitness is okay. I’m looking forward to bringing him back.”

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