Giggs challenges youngsters

Ryan Giggs has called on the next generation of talent emerging at Manchester United to ensure they make the most of their opportunities.

Much has been made of the youthful exuberance flowing through United's current first-team squad, with Sir Alex Ferguson having put considerable faith in his youngsters.

There are, however, a number of academy stars looking to force their way into the picture in the not too distant future.

The likes of Paul Pogba and Will Keane are tipped for bright futures and are expected to figure in Ferguson's plans sooner rather than later.

It is expected that a number of youngsters will be given a chance to shine in United's Carling Cup clash with Leeds on Tuesday, and Giggs has challenged those selected to stand up and be counted.

"There are young players coming through at United but this is an important part of their career," Giggs told MUTV.

"When you look at the lads who came through in my age group, then those who followed; Wes Brown and John O'Shea for instance, when they got their chance, they took it.

"Once you hit 17, 18 and 19, that is what you have to do.

"It doesn't matter whether it is if you get a chance to train with the first team, or in a match as a substitute, you need to make an impact.

"You need to force the manager not leave you out of the next game."

The likes of Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley, following loan spells elsewhere, are the latest academy graduates to make their mark in the first team, but Giggs believes it takes a special kind of talent to make the breakthrough at Old Trafford.

"It is tough because there is a lot of quality in the first team," said the Welshman.

"The majority have the quality. That is not really in doubt. The question is, do they have the desire and appetite to take it up a step more?"