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Man Utd management delighted with young defenders Eckersley, Da Silva twins

Manchester United assistant boss Mike Phelan says management was delighted with the response of their young defenders last season.

In his blog for manutd.com, Phelan wrote: "We all know about the superb partnership between Vida and Rio Ferdinand, but this season we saw the development of some other great pairings, namely Rio and Jonny Evans and Vida and Jonny. They all blended very well together.

"Jonny is just one of a number of young players, including Rafael, Fabio and Richard Eckersley, who we brought into the defence at times and each one acquitted themselves very well. The crowd really got behind them and the players reacted positively to that support which was great to see.

"The youngsters also made a valuable contribution to the clean sheet record which really was a terrific achievement. To go so long - 1,334 minutes - without conceding was phenomenal and you have to give great credit to Edwin van der Sar for the huge part he played. He brings stability, experience, composure and confidence to the defence and his level of fitness is fantastic. The same can be said about Patrice Evra and John O'Shea who were both as solid as ever in the back four.

"We're very fortunate to have such a fantastic group of top defenders who all played an important role in our achievements this season."

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Tribal Football Staff

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