Manchester United great issues challenge to young midfielder James Garner

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Legendary former Manchester United captain Bryan Robson has urged the club’s young players to show character and courage during the pre-season friendlies and believes the time is now for James Garner to prove his quality.

Robson thinks now is the perfect chance for United’s youngsters to show off their ability but believes Garner has the most to prove of the young group.

Speaking to manutd.com, Robson said: “It’s always good to see the lads who have been out on loan. Then the younger players coming through get that opportunity. It’s good to see how well they can do against the opposition we’ve selected for the pre-season games.

“We’ve got a couple of Championship teams and Brentford have just been promoted so it’s always interesting to see how the young boys cope with getting in the first team and playing 90 minutes, sometimes playing with the better players.

“For James [Garner], this is it. He has had his education now and is at that age where he can really prove himself this season, whether he’s going to be at Manchester United or go out on loan again.

“He’s a very intelligent footballer and works very hard at his game. Now it is up to James to step up and prove to Ole he is worthy of a place in the squad.”

 

Robson was famed for his box-to-box style, but admitted that nowadays players must adapt more to the coach’s instructions as the game is more tactical now than it was during his playing career.

“As a player, you’ve got to work at being able to adapt to what the coach is asking for. With Ron Atkinson, I was, more or less, box to box all the time. Bobby Robson wanted me like that with England as well but, when Sir Alex came in, he wanted me to not get forward as much. You always try to mix your game up and get forward now and again but to sit in to try to protect Pally [Gary Pallister] and Brucey [Steve Bruce] too.

 

“He tried to get me playing that role, which wasn’t a problem for me. When I was in the youth team at West Brom, I used to play centre-half anyway. I’m sure Ole is looking to get the right mix in the midfield area now whether it’s players who can pass well and defend well.”

Garner is likely to be involved in United’s first pre-season game on Sunday when they take on Wayne Rooney’s Derby County side.

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