Forget Sneijder, our kids are up to the job, says Ferguson

United manager claims he is 'certainly not' looking to bring in Dutchman while defending keeper De Gea

Sir Alex Ferguson declared yesterday that "you can forget" the idea of Manchester United signing Internazionale's Wesley Sneijder, as the manager was happy to advance with the new crop of emerging young players at the club.

Ferguson, who deflected criticism away from his 20-year-old goalkeeper David de Gea by asking why no one had criticised the Spaniard's opposite number, Manchester City's Joe Hart, in the Community Shield, declared that he was "certainly not looking to add" to his "roll call of players".

It has never been Ferguson's strategy to seek a like-for-like replacement for a player, such as Paul Scholes: he creates a side out of the players he has. Yesterday, Ferguson said the purchase of another midfielder would only hold back the progress of 18-year-old French midfielder Paul Pogba, whom United risk losing in two years' time.

"We'll have to give him opportunities to see how he can do in the first team. He's got the ability, the physique and the athleticism," Ferguson said of the key member of United's FA Youth Cup winning side. "He's a possibility."

Tom Cleverley's emergence as an incisive midfield playmaker at Wembley underlined his potential and Ferguson insisted De Gea, 20, would play in United's opener at West Bromwich Albion tomorrow, despite acknowledging his technical failure in not gathering Edin Dzeko's 30-yard shot which gave Manchester City a 2-0 interval lead last Sunday. "He was stepping forward as the shot was about to be hit and then he took a step back and got himself a bit unbalanced," Ferguson said.

"It wasn't so much a goalkeeping mistake but more of a technical mistake in terms of his feet. But we didn't expect that and he won't be doing that again. It was just one of those things. The ball did move a bit about 2ft – but he will be fine."

Comparing Joleon Lescott's headed opening goal past De Gea with Chris Smalling's against Hart, Ferguson said, with some irritation: "It was interesting there was no criticism of Joe Hart. It was exactly the same type of goal, and he's your bloody national goalkeeper. The goalkeeper has absolutely no chance when the ball gets whipped in like that. It only needs a fraction of a touch and the goalkeeper's dead. He comes for it and he looks silly."

Though there was a suspicion that Lescott marginally infringed Rio Ferdinand to score, Ferguson insisted that Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic would be required to provide better support for De Gea, heading into United's challenging start to the campaign. "Our defenders didn't deal with it. For any young goalkeeper coming in now replacing Edwin van der Sar, he needs the support of experienced players like Vidic and Ferdinand."

Ferguson said he was unaware that De Gea had conceded more goals from distance than any other goalkeeper in La Liga, at Atletico Madrid last season. The manager, for whom Patrice Evra is a doubt tomorrow, said Javier Hernandez's freak concussion incident on tour in the United States would keep him out until mid-September, with United's extra precaution a result of a similar problem he experienced at Guadalajara two years ago.

United have a challenging start to their defence of the title as they go in search of a 20th league crown, with Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea at Old Trafford among the first six games. "I keep saying I'll send someone down to watch [the fixture selection process]," Ferguson said. "It's a tough start. The only way you can handle it is to have everyone fit more or less in the early part of the season."

The return of Darren Fletcher and Antonio Valencia to action will continue with the reserves on Monday.

News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
peopleReports that Brand could stand for Mayor on an 'anti-politics' ticket
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
News
Voluminous silk drawers were worn by Queen Victoria
newsThe silk underwear is part of a growing trade in celebrity smalls
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Candidates with surnames that start with an A have an electoral advantage
newsVoters are biased towards names with letters near start of alphabet
Arts and Entertainment
Isis with Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jay James
TVReview: Performances were stale and cheesier than a chunk of Blue Stilton left out for a month
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?