Fergie selection headache as United bounce back
Sir Alex Ferguson admitted his second-string players are giving him a selection headache following Manchester United's League Cup victory at Aldershot.
Goals from Dimitar Berbatov, Michael Owen and Antonio Valencia earned a 3-0 win at the Recreation Ground and a place in the quarter-finals of the competition. The performance came two days after Ferguson's first team were humbled 6-1 by rivals Manchester City at Old Trafford in the Premier League.
"They are always giving me nudges," Ferguson said. "It's the difficult thing about having so many good players. We have a fantastic squad and that is why I had to play these players, they needed games. They have not had many first-team games because the consistency of the team is very good and we have not had to make changes.
"But Michael Owen, every time he plays he scores. It's a fantastic record he has got. You cannot ignore that. He is a fantastic professional. Dimitar Berbatov had a fantastic game and scored a tremendous goal.
"They've all done well. Antonio Valencia, Tom Cleverley coming back (from injury) is a good thing for us because he is an outstanding footballer and needed another game."
Berbatov opened the scoring in the 15th minute before setting up Owen for the second just before the interval. Valencia added the third after the break with a powerful drive into the top corner.
Ferguson was pleased with the reaction after defeat to City. "We had a difficult day on Sunday, we tried to play with the history book," he said. "If we kept our discipline and just played out the game with 10 men it wouldn't have bothered another side.
"It's the nature of Manchester United to try to win the game whether it's 10 men, nine men, seven men or 11 men. That's the nature and it's very difficult to change that. They kept their discipline and professionalism (against Aldershot), and enjoyed it."
Owen admitted there was a dark mood at the club building up to the game but is confident United can now bounce back. "As you can imagine the laughs and jokes have quietened down a little bit," he said.
"Sometimes you need a kick in the teeth to get going and it was a big kick in the teeth, as everybody knows, and we were eager to bounce back.
"We were a little bit under pressure with the result at the weekend. Although no one here started at the weekend you still have Manchester United's reputation to look after. So whatever side was put out we wanted to bounce back and thankfully we got the win."
Aldershot caused United problems at times and manager Dean Holdsworth was proud of his players. "We spoke afterwards and he (Ferguson) was full of compliments," said Holdsworth. "I'm very proud and we have learnt a lot from the game. The team will be hungry for more of these occasions now."