Collins hails young Villans
James Collins has backed Aston Villa's emerging youngsters to make their mark against Man Utd.
Last Updated: 12/11/10 9:48am
James Collins has backed Aston Villa's emerging youngsters to make their mark against Manchester United this weekend.
Gerard Houllier's injury problems have seen Marc Albrighton, Ciaran Clark, Barry Bannan and Nathan Delfouneso thrust into the action this season.
The quartet all started Wednesday night's 3-2 victory over Blackpool at Villa Park and could again be named in the starting XI for Saturday's lunchtime visit of Sir Alex Ferguson's unbeaten Red Devils.
The Old Trafford outfit have a history of turning to talent regardless of age, with Mexico striker Javier Hernandez currently flourishing in their forward line.
Experienced Villa centre-back Collins, whose late header secured three points against the Seasiders, is confident the Midlands club will be well served again by their youngsters.
Collins said: "United have done it and they are having to do it again with the centre-forward they have got playing.
"Our lads, it has taken them a bit of time to break into the team but once they have come in they have done very well.
"Marc Albrighton has started the season in terrific form. Ciaran playing centre of midfield - when he is a centre-half really - is playing like he has been playing there all his life.
"Everyone at the club knows Barry is a great player. I think they have coped with it well. That's why they are playing in the Premier League.
"When you are younger you dream about playing against teams like Manchester United. If they are not up for that, then they won't be up for many."
Collins was part of the Villa side beaten 2-1 by United in last season's Carling Cup final but insists that encounter will have no bearing on this weekend's meeting.
"It was a day when we wanted to do well and were disappointed," he added. "But it is a completely different situation now playing in the league where we need points.
"Everyone is looking forward to it. We have to go into the game thinking we can win.
"There is no point thinking any different. It is going to be tough. But we've had a couple of days' rest to look forward to it."