O'Shea hails Utd youth talent

Irish star puts faith in Red Devils' title tilt

O'Shea: Youth success

O'Shea: Youth success

Manchester United defender John O'Shea has paid tribute to the faith the club put in their youngsters.

Sir Alex Ferguson's team are chasing an unprecedented fourth successive Premier League title and remain in the hunt following their dramatic 1-0 win over Manchester City.

Paul Scholes headed the stoppage-time winner to put his team a point behind league leaders Chelsea with three matches remaining, and O'Shea believes the academy system - which produced Scholes and team-mate Ryan Giggs - has borne significant fruit.

Scholes and Giggs were part of the famed United side that won the FA Youth Cup in 1992, which included the likes of David Beckham, Gary Neville and Nicky Butt.

And O'Shea - who also came through the ranks at the Red Devils to become a household name - says the formula is a successful one.

He told Sky Sports: "That's where the club has been so successful and maintained a structure all the way through, giving the youngsters a chance.

"Like I'm 28, just about to be 29, and you look at Giggsy and Scholesy - it's a credit to the club that they keep the consistency going and it's worked because the team keeps being successful."

United appeared to be out of the running to retain their Premier League crown after their defeat by Chelsea earlier in the month, but the Blues' loss at Tottenham last week ensured O'Shea's team remain in close contention.

Their next two games start before Chelsea get theirs underway, meaning some pressure will be on Carlo Ancelotti's team to match or better United's results.

Tottenham are the next test awaiting Ferguson's team, but O'Shea reckons his side are more than capable of overcoming the Champions League hopefuls.

"It's one weekend of football and a totally different scenario and we've got an advantage playing first," added the Irish international. "That's a bit of added pressure on us too but we've got to be confident at Old Trafford.

"Even though Tottenham are coming in with great confidence we've got to focus on ourselves and make sure we do our job and see what happens.

"Normally, when most teams lose a game it's not really spoken about but when we lose a game it's a guaranteed crisis.

"I remember the first time I won the league back in 2003 the headlines for about a month were 'The Empire's Crumbling'. It's just always been the way - they can't wait to shoot down the best, (and) we'll keep proving them wrong."