Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is confident of keeping his big squad happy this season.

"We have to have players here who understand the dynamics of the operation of the club. When we're going for everything, some of them will have to be patient. They're going to get chances, and play games, and in those matches they can be important players," he told Inside United Magazine.

"It's a challenge for me and the staff to make sure we're being fair and picking the right team. It's also a challenge for the players to show loyalty to us, and if they don't think that we're being fair, then they have every right to come and see me. The door is always open.

"Look at players like Phil Neville and Nicky Butt. For three or four years they weren't regular starters, but they loved the club, they were patient and prepared to accept that they wouldn't play every game, but they always got 20-odd games a season. You can't do it forever, and you have to be fair to them, and let them move on when they want to.

"I mean, Nicky and Phil can sit back and think: "I've got eight or nine medals from my time there, which is a fantastic achievement."

"Nicky played in the European Cup final, mainly because of the suspensions of Keane and Scholes. Phil played in the 1996 FA Cup final against Liverpool, Gary didn't make that one, he was on the subs' bench. Those are great rewards for being patient."