Sir Alex Ferguson has told the squad's fringe players not to get disheartened by a lack of games, insisting their patience will be rewarded.
Competition for places is fierce within a United squad further bolstered by the signings of Owen Hargreaves, Nani, Anderson and Carlos Tevez.
Although the departures of Alan Smith, Gabriel Heinze, Kieran Richardson and Giuseppe Rossi, plus the retirement of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, have reduced numbers slightly, Sir Alex remains spoilt for choice for his starting eleven when everyone is fit.
The United boss maintains that every player will be given their chance to shine this season and is confident they will reap their rewards by remaining patient.
"We have to have players here who understand the dynamics of the operation of the club. When we’re going for everything, some of them will have to be patient. They’re going to get chances, and play games, and in those matches they can be important players," he told Inside United Magazine.
"It’s a challenge for me and the staff to make sure we’re being fair and picking the right team. It’s also a challenge for the players to show loyalty to us, and if they don’t think that we’re being fair, then they have every right to come and see me. The door is always open.
"Look at players like Phil Neville and Nicky Butt. For three or four years they weren’t regular starters, but they loved the club, they were patient and prepared to accept that they wouldn’t play every game, but they always got 20-odd games a season. You can’t do it forever, and you have to be fair to them, and let them move on when they want to.
"I mean, Nicky and Phil can sit back and think: “I’ve got eight or nine medals from my time there, which is a fantastic achievement."
"Nicky played in the European Cup final, mainly because of the suspensions of Keane and Scholes. Phil played in the 1996 FA Cup final against Liverpool, Gary didn’t make that one, he was on the subs’ bench. Those are great rewards for being patient."
Sir Alex also has an abundance of young talent on which to call upon following the return of a number of the players from loan spells.
"I think we’ve got a terrific bunch with Dong, Campbell, Martin, Gibson, Eagles – who has come on unbelievably well – Pique, Evans, Simpson… they’re all excellent," said the boss.
"The hardest thing will be to manage the situation, but we have plans that’ll ensure they get enough football."
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Sir Alex Ferguson is targeting Barcelona's Giovani Dos Santos. The United boss, who has already signed Portuguese star Nani and Brazilian Anderson, is also looking to bring in 18-year-old Mexican Dos Santos. Barca are looking to tie him to a longer contract which would increase his £20m buy-out clause. But reports in the Daily Mirror suggest that Dos Santos' performances have attracted interest across Europe and he has switched agents to Jorge Mendes who also looks after Chelsea boss Jose Mouirino and has already dealt with United before. Barcelona sporting director Tixiki Berguristain said: "It's normal for a player of his talent to receive interest from other clubs. But I'm calm and confident he will sign a new contract here."