Fergie - Neville had to go

Image: Ferguson: Progression

Sir Alex Ferguson concedes that captain Gary Neville deserved to be sent off in their 2-0 Carling Cup win over Barnsley.

United boss accpets red card decision and praises performance

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson concedes that captain Gary Neville deserved to be sent off in their 2-0 win over Barnsley on Tuesday night. The stand-in skipper received his marching orders for a high tackle on Adam Hammill on 63 minutes, shortly after Michael Owen had handed United a two-goal lead. Danny Welbeck had earlier opened the scoring for the holders, but the game may be remembered for referee Chris Foy's red card decision, for which Ferguson has no complaints. "I've just seen it here and I think he probably has followed through," Ferguson told Sky Sports. "He's caught the boy, not high, but just above the ankle and I think that in the present climate the referee is probably correct." Ferguson refused to dwell on the incident, instead focusing on his young side's promising performance against a determined, yet inferior, Barnsley team. He added: "Well it was a cup tie and Barnsley have worked very hard. They put a lot of effort into the game and they had one or two chances after we went down to ten men. "I think at the end of the day we've just about got through and probably deserved to get through.

Changes

Ferguson named a completely different starting XI to the one which went down 2-0 to Liverpool on Sunday and the youngsters rose to the challenge at Oakwell. Ferguson said: "When you're playing away from home in a cup tie it's a different experience than playing in Old Trafford. "Last year when we won the cup we got a lot of home draws until the semi-finals when we had an away game with Derby County of course." Michael Owen was in the thick of the action in the final third for United, finally finding the net just before the hour mark with his first shot on target. "It's a fantastic goal, unbelievably good feet, quick and a marvellous finish. It was a great, great goal," Ferguson said of Owen's 59th minute strike. With the experienced Owen leading the line ahead of youngsters Welbeck and Federico Macheda, it was Welbeck who opened the scoring with a near-post header after just six minutes. However, the 18-year-old was forced to withdraw shortly after the break after picking up a knock in the first half, but Ferguson does not believe the injury is too serious. "He got an injury in the first-half," he said. "We thought we'd try him in the second but after a few minutes we knew it was no use so Zoran (Tosic) came on to replace him. "We'll scan it tomorrow," he added.

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