Nicky Butt tips Manchester United youngsters for first-team opportunities

Manchester United’s Head of Academy Nicky Butt has tipped some of Manchester United’s youngsters to be used by Jose Mourinho in the first team set-up.

While Manchester United were defeated 1-0 by Juventus in the Champions League on Tuesday night, their Under-19 team beat the Italian’s youngster 4-1 in the UEFA Youth League, despite youngster Tahith Chong being called up to the senior squad.

Now the head of Manchester United’s academy, and a former academy graduate himself, Nicky Butt has told his young players that there is no better time to stake their claim to follow Chong into Jose Mourinho’s thinking.

“Chongy has done really well and been one of the stand-out players when he’s played at this level,” Butt told MUTV. “He’s gone up with the first team today [Tuesday] and I said to the lads at half-time there is no better time to go and be a footballer at Manchester United.

”There is room for them to go and play there as it’s a club that really insists on youngsters going up through the Academy and playing in the first team. The club demands it, the fans certainly demand it and the board demand it. I said that at half-time, there is no reason why three or four of them couldn’t be up in the next squad.

”It’s why they need to do well here and not take their foot off the pedal but keep driving and driving. It’s easy for me to say it as an older man who is now retired as, when I was young, I probably did the same thing. But it’s really important to keep giving them the message that, when it gets easy, it’s not the time to take your foot off the pedal.

“You’ve got to keep going and the reason why is because, if not, you let teams back into the game. Also you never know who’s watching. You never know when your next opportunity is coming. It might be around the corner for one or two of those players in that dressing room.”

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