With the latest fuss conerning Sir Alex Ferguson’s selection of the youngsters, Gary Neville has moved to defend the players, claiming he doesn’t see them as just kids.

22-year-old Darron Gibson has 5 caps for Ireland, whilst 21-year-old Jonny Evans has 19 caps for Northern Ireland, and Neville believes that even though they’re obviously still developing, they are certainly Premiership quality players.

“I don’t think they’re younger players,” said Neville. “They’re playing for their countries and they deserve to be there by right. They’re Premier League players of that quality, although they’re obviously developing. It’s going to be difficult to go all the way in the Carling Cup, but we’re in the semi-finals again and we want to continue to do well this year.”