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The experienced midfielder is backing the Red Devils' reserve stars to stake their claims for a spot in the first-team squad, and is keen to win the League Cup to boost belief

Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick believe the club’s young stars are more than capable of taking opportunities handed to them by Sir Alex Ferguson.

Youngsters including Paul Pogba, Ravel Morrison and Ezekiel Fryers are all tipped to feature for the Red Devils when they host Crystal Palace in a League Cup quarter-final tie on Wednesday, and Carrick believes they have the talent to shine.

"This is a great place to learn your trade," Carrick told reporters. "The manager is the best at guiding young players through when he sees they are ready.

“They have had little snippets before. Zeki [Ezekiel Fryers] has played a couple of times and done well. I am sure they will do well if the manager puts them in.

"They certainly have the talent. They're good players - they wouldn't be threatening to play if they weren't. They have been doing things right and have ability. It's about going to that next step when you have the opportunity.

“There are not a load of opportunities to come into the first-team. The Carling Cup is probably the best way to establish yourself and I'm sure they'll take the opportunity with both hands if it arises."

Carrick, 30, also views the League Cup as an opportunity to boost the squads belief as they head into the crucial stages of the season.

He added: "There is no harm in getting into the habit of winning games, no matter what competition it's in.

"Some people have written the competition off as not being so important, but lifting that trophy in February gives you a great feeling. It gives you a lot of belief going into the end of the season, not just as players but as a club.

“If you are winning trophies, it gives everyone a boost. It's something we're not taking lightly as it's an opportunity to get more silverware.

"This year there are still big teams left in it. Certain years in the past, there have been a few lesser teams. This competition is very strong.

“Come the quarter-finals you take it seriously, of course you do. We are not taking Crystal Palace lightly. It is just an opportunity to be successful and keep our run going."

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