Welbeck: United should stick with the kids
Danny Welbeck has pleaded with Sir Alex Ferguson to stick with the kids for United's Carling Cup semi-final with City.
The teenage striker helped United to the trophy last season and has played a key role in their run to the last four this time around.
But it remains to be seen if Ferguson will stick to his policy of playing youth and fringe members of his squad after the Premier League champions were drawn against City.
Welbeck believes he and the likes of Federico Macheda, Darron Gibson, the Da Silva twins and Ritchie de Laet can lead United to Wembley - and wants to be given the chance to prove that against Mark Hughes' moneybags side.
He said: "It's a competition where the boss likes to give the youngsters a chance to show what they can do and what your abilities are.
"It's a different level and all the younger players who are selected relish the challenge.
"It was the first trophy I'd won with United's first team and it was such a great buzz. Just to win a trophy at the biggest club in the world was massive. I just want to feel like that again, year after year."
Just this week Ferguson insisted his latest crop of starlets could follow in the footsteps of Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and David Beckham and become United legends.
They repaid the manager's faith with a 2-0 win against Tottenham in the Carling Cup quarter-finals to set up a mouth-watering semi-final double header against City.
But City proved they have the experience to blast away even the most talented of young sides with their 3-0 win against Arsenal on Wednesday.
The dilemma for Ferguson is whether he can risk playing such a young side when local bragging rights are at stake.
Hughes admits he is unsure whether the United boss will stick to his youth policy given the magnitude of the occasion.
"We will have to wait and see whether Sir Alex does stick with the youngsters," he said.
"But the kids there are very good - they played an almost full strength Tottenham side and won quite comfortably.
"Whoever he picks, it will be an accomplished side but we believe we can compete with anyone in the Premier League.
"Maybe this draw was meant to be. Two games against United will focus everyone's energies.
"When we play like we did on Wednesday we don't fear anyone, and we would back ourselves over two legs against anybody - including United.
"Over two games we will have a real go at it. We have taken this competition seriously from the off and we have needed to because in certain games we came close to slipping out if we hadn't been as strong as we were.
"Perhaps we have got the reward that our respect for the competition deserves."
The first leg of the semi-final will be played at Eastlands on January 6, which is live on BBC, with the return leg on January 19, live on Sky.
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