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Ferguson vows to stick with youth at Wembley

Sir Alex Ferguson has vowed to stick with his Manchester United youngsters for their Carling Cup final appearance at the beginning of March.

United booked a Wembley date - almost certainly with Tottenham - with a 4-3 aggregate win over Derby.

Darron Gibson, John O'Shea and Danny Welbeck have been among the unsung heroes who have been regular performers in the competition this term.

And they can all bank on retaining their spots as United compete in their 14th domestic final of Ferguson's reign.

"They will all play in the final," said Ferguson. "They deserve to.

"It is always a great occasion at Wembley but the only way you can really enjoy it is by winning."

However, of more immediate concern will be finding a team to play Tottenham in Saturday's FA Cup fourth-round tie at Old Trafford.

With Rio Ferdinand, Wes Brown and Patrice Evra already ruled out, the Red Devils could not afford to lose Rafael with a torn hamstring that will keep him out for at least a month, and Jonny Evans who limped through the latter stages after aggravating an ankle injury.

In addition, Anderson was taken for X-rays on the ankle injury that forced him to be stretchered off after the final whistle, while Nani, Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs all failed to complete the full 90 minutes.

"There are probably six or seven of them who have picked up injuries," confirmed Ferguson.

"It was been a bad night in that respect.

"We finished with 10 men but it was effectively nine because Jonny was in great discomfort. We will just have to see what happens now."

Darren Fletcher is almost certain to be called on as a makeshift right-back, while Fabio might be handed his senior debut against Spurs if Neville does not make it.

It took the gloss off victory in an entertaining contest.

Nani, John O'Shea and Carlos Tevez scored before half-time and, although Giles Barnes found the net twice for Derby, Cristiano Ronaldo split them with a penalty of his own - ending a barren run in domestic combat that stretched back to November 15 - to ensure the Red Devils made it through.

Derby boss Nigel Clough was not too downhearted either given his team's performance had been a vast improvement on their shoddy effort against QPR at the weekend.

"The first goal knocked the stuffing out of us; 30 yards in the top corner you can't do much about those," he said. "Defending the second and third goals was disappointing but it was a vast improvement on Saturday - even the first half.

"It would be very easy to give up the ghost but we showed a bit of character, which after Saturday was what we were looking for."