Manchester United's Sir Alex Ferguson praises Danny Welbeck

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Welbeck optimistic about youthful squad

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson praised Danny Welbeck and the rest of his young side after their 3-0 win against Tottenham.

Forward Welbeck, who scored the opener in the 61st minute at Old Trafford on Monday, was one of a starting XI with an average age of just over 23.

"This group have such fantastic ability, it forces me to play them really," said Ferguson.

"Danny is still only 20 years of age and the lad has a great future."

Welbeck impressed after the interval following an indifferent first-half performance, when he was guilty of conceding possession.

"I thought in the first half, Danny didn't play as a centre forward," added the 69-year-old manager.

"He was too much in midfield, he and Wayne [Rooney]. We stressed at half-time that we needed more of a presence up front, we needed our targets up there and we needed someone to run through.

"In the second half they were much better that way and it made a difference to our game."

Welbeck progressed through United's youth teams and made his senior debut in a League Cup match at home to Middlesbrough in 2008.

He spent a short time on loan at Preston at the start of 2010 before he was farmed out to Sunderland for the entire 2010-2011 campaign.

"He has always had ability but made slow progress because he had a bit of a knee growth problem, so we knew we had to wait for him," added Ferguson.

"We put him on loan to Sunderland last season and that is when he became a man. He has grown up."

Experienced duo Ryan Giggs and Park Ji-sung appeared as last substitutes for United, with Welbeck saying the Premier League champions have "great back-up".

"We've got a young side, but we also have youth and experience," said the 20-year-old.

"We've got great back-up [responding to Giggs and Park's substitution]. I think it showed how well the manager has got the squad combined.

"Once you are in the starting XI you have to work hard to keep your place."

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