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United aim to show Burnley defeat was just a blip

sports Updated: Aug 21, 2009 11:09 IST

Sir Alex Ferguson has demanded a response from his Manchester United side as they attempt to kick-start their title defence at Wigan on Saturday.

The Premier League champions opened the campaign with a less than convincing 1-0 win over Birmingham and then slumped to a shock 1-0 loss at Burnley in midweek.

Even though United's under-whelming start has provoked plenty of questions about his options, Ferguson is set to keep faith with his players.

Ferguson has claimed time and again that he is satisfied with his squad despite limited spending in the transfer market.

Following the high-profile departures of Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez, the United boss has brought in Antonio Valencia, Michael Owen and French youngster Gabriel Obertan.

Ferguson acknowledges that United traditionally do not find their rhythm until October.

But he will be desperate for his team to make a statement at the DW Stadium, where they have picked up vital victories in the past two seasons.

The Scot is still without Rio Ferdinand, Edwin van der Sar, Rafael da Silva and Owen Hargreaves for the short trip across Lancashire.

Despite Ronaldo and Tevez leaving Old Trafford during the close-season, midfielder Darren Fletcher feels United have plenty of youngsters that can step up and make an impression this season.

The likes of Rafael, Danny Welbeck and Federico Macheda all made contributions last season. And Fletcher feels that talent coming through the ranks is as vital to the club as big-money signings.

"The club strives for young players to come through the ranks. It's part of the United ethos," he said.

"We have got a great crop of young players and some featured a lot last season. Those lads look very strong and are raring to go.

"Everyone, from the players to the coaches in the academy and our scouts feels proud when a player makes it through the system.

"The United fans want to see that as well. When the supporters see a local lad coming through and doing well it sometimes means a lot more than going out and spending big money on someone.

"We train with them every day and so we know what they're capable of. The difficult part is taking that on to the pitch but a lot of them have already done that.

"After every chance you get in the first team you just want more. It's a big squad with a lot of quality but these boys are a confident bunch. They want to play and deserve to be there.

"It's up to them now to go and prove it to the manager - to show that they're ready and that they're good enough.

"I definitely believe they are good enough because they wouldn't be at United if they weren't."

Following an opening day victory of their own - a 2-0 success at Aston Villa - Wigan were also brought down to earth with a bump against newly-promoted opposition when they went down 1-0 to Wolverhampton in midweek.

Goalkeeper Chris Kirkland is sure that Roberto Martinez's side will rise to the occasion as they look to make up for that defeat.

"We have to pick ourselves up because we've got a massive game coming up against Manchester United," he said.

"The important thing is not to get too despondent. There's a lot of good about our team and we need to get that back.

"I'm sure they gaffer will be drilling that into us and have us ready for the Manchester United game."