Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is certain struggling Aston Villa will benefit in the long term from Paul Lambert's strategy to give youth a chance. "Young people give you a future by creating a strong blend that can last for a few years," said Ferguson.

"Young players will always remember the manager who gave them their first start.

"The team will improve because of that, I am sure of it.

"Paul had the courage to do it and even if they were to go down, Villa have a structure that should bring them right back up.

"But on the evidence of what we've seen recently they've every chance of staying up anyway."

"We expect a scrap," added the Scottish tactician.

"The least you expect is for a team to fight for everything when they're down there.

"Villa showed against Stoke that they have a bit of life about them and they should have won their game against last week.

"When I saw the structure of those teams, they looked really positive selections.

"A lot of teams in that situation may pick a team to get something out of the game. Paul Lambert picked a team to win. There is a distinction."