Man Utd v Villa: Ferguson backs Lambert's young guns
Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson believes Paul Lambert's strategy of building a young, emerging side will bring long-term success to Villa.
Ferguson admits he's been impressed with Lambert's forward-thinking policy of creating a developing team.
The 71-year-old believes the positive policy will bear fruit for Villa as he backed the claret and blues to retain their top-flight status.
He said: "Young people give you a future by creating a strong blend that can last for a few years.
"Young players will always remember the manager who gave them their first start.
"The team will improve because of that, I am sure of it.
"Paul had the courage to do it and even if they were to go down, Villa have a structure that should bring them right back up.
"But on the evidence of what we've seen recently they've every chance of staying up anyway."
Villa have won three and drawn one in five games in a rich vein of form as the pressure intensifies.
Man Utd, on the other hand, are pushing for their 20th title.
Ferguson will be eager for three points on Monday.
But he expects a tough evening at Old Trafford.
He added: "We expect a scrap.
"The least you expect is for a team to fight for everything when they're down there.
"Villa showed against Stoke that they have a bit of life about them and they should have won their game again last week.
"When I saw the structure of those teams, they looked really positive selections.
"A lot of teams in that situation may pick a team to get something out of the game. Paul Lambert picked a team to win. There is a distinction."
Snap up match tickets for the Sunderland game.