Praise for United's youth from Giggs

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The Independent Online
Manchester United's young players were yesterday praised by Old Trafford's 21-year-old "veteran" Ryan Giggs.

The 1994 champions have recovered from an opening day defeat at Aston Villa to chalk up three wins in four games - the latest being a 2-1 victory against the title-holders, Blackburn Rovers, at Ewood Park on Monday.

After a supposed summer of discontent at Old Trafford, Alex Ferguson, the United manager, seems to have got his side back on track.

The acrimonious departures of striker Mark Hughes to Chelsea, the midfielder Paul Ince to Internazionale and the winger Andrei Kanchelskis to Everton put Ferguson under pressure from supporters who were unhappy that leading names were being allowed to leave and not replaced.

However, the impressive performances of players like Gary Neville, David Beckham, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt have brought a new mood of confidence to Old Trafford.

Giggs is also on his way back to full fitness after a long-standing hamstring injury. Still some way off being the player of two seasons ago, he was due to play in the reserves against Notts County last night after coming on as a substitute against Blackburn.

The Welsh international is a role model for some of the younger players, yet he has nothing but admiration for the way the novices like Beckham and Neville have performed on England's highest football stage.

"I have played with a lot of these lads in the youth team and they're all good players," Giggs said. "I firmly believe that the club is in good hands. The people who are knocking United have got it wrong. What I'm hoping for is to stay injury free this season and help United as much as I can."