Darren Fletcher backs Manchester United and youngsters to bounce back

Darren Fletcher

Despite the opening day defeat at home to Swansea City, Darren Fletcher believes Manchester United can have a successful campaign, with the younger players making a real contribution towards it.

Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher has backed the side to have a good season, and the young players to be a big part of it despite their opening day defeat to Swansea City at Old Trafford.

United had a promising pre-season as they began life under Louis van Gaal, and expectations were high at Old Trafford on Saturday lunchtime, but Swansea left with all three points as they ran out 2-1 winners in the opening game of the Premier League season. 

Prior to their opening game, United were tipped to put last season's disappointing seventh-place finish behind them - with some even tipping the club to be challenging for the Premier League title.

Inevitably after the defeat there have been a few doubts emerging, with some suggesting this could be another long season for the club.

But Fletcher has backed the younger players to succeed, after United's starting line-up at the weekend featured Jesse Lingard and Tyler Blackett, who were given their Premier League debuts. 

The United vice-captain is quoted in the Manchester Evening News, saying that there was a feel of 1995 about the place, where they were written off by former Match of the Day pundit Alan Hansen who came out with the infamous line, 'you win nothing with kids'.

He said: “It did have a feel of that in terms of people looking at the squad and maybe not seeing household names, but these players are good enough and the manager believes in them. All you need is a platform to go and perform and I’m sure they’ll definitely go and prove people wrong.

“Obviously people have been waiting for an opportunity to have a go at United for years and this is the perfect time.

“It’s a long season and let’s see if they’re saying that towards the end, that’s all I can say. I believe they won’t be saying that and that we’re going to have a very good season definitely. All the players believe that too."

There is also the factor that United have a number of high-profile first team players still to come back into the side including Michael Carrick and Robin Van Persie. But van Gaal has shown at his previous clubs that he is willing to give younger players a chance, and Ryan Giggs did so during his spell as interim manager in the closing stages of last season, handing debuts to the likes of James Wilson as well as giving Tom Lawrence an opportunity to shine.

They will be given ample opportunity to shine at Old Trafford but it is a question of whether they are good enough to deliver, especially in such a crucial season for the club as they look to return to the Champions League immediately.

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch