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By ESPN Staff

Ferguson vows to stand by kids

Sir Alex Ferguson has promised to stand by his youngsters in next month's Carling Cup semi-final after Manchester United sent Tottenham tumbling out in the last eight.

• Manchester United 2-0 Tottenham
• Harris: United youngsters find their feet
• Redknapp: It was like a practice match

As expected, Ferguson offered another chance to the majority of the side defeated by Besiktas last week.

And the Red Devils chief was rewarded with a fine display against a Tottenham outfit good enough to scrap their way into third spot in the Premier League without being any match for their hosts this evening once Darron Gibson had netted an excellent first-half brace.

United will learn who they will meet in the last four tomorrow - Manchester City are potential opponents - but, whoever they get, Ferguson knows exactly which pool of players will benefit.

"I want these lads to enjoy the semi-final because they will play again,'' Ferguson said. "We are gaining as a club because they are getting the chance to play in these matches. They are all definitely getting better.''

It was a point Ferguson made quite forcefully in the build-up, condemning those who, in the aftermath of the Besiktas defeat, claimed his youngsters had no future.

This time, they showed their true colours, with central midfield pairing Anderson and Gibson picked out for special praise.

"They both played very well,'' Ferguson said. "Once Anderson imposed himself on the game, he was able to attack players in the middle of the park and we finished up comfortable winners.

"And Darron Gibson is the one player in our club who can score great goals from outside the box. He has such tremendous power in his shot.''

That aspect of Gibson's play was seen in his 16th-minute opener, a blistering 25-yard finish from Anderson's square ball.

But the second was pure teamwork as Park Ji-sung and Dimitar Berbatov started a flowing move that ended with Gibson playing a one-two with Danny Welbeck before curling brilliantly into the top corner.

"That second goal was excellent,'' the United boss said. There was so much movement involved, on and off the ball, and the finish itself was absolutely terrific. We have to look upon this as a really good win for us.

"Tottenham have improved tremendously and look as if they are going to push for the top four. They have a strong squad and the lads who came in for them tonight did very well. We have played a good team so I have to be pleased.''


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