Besiktas boss fears fringe players

Besiktas coach Mustafa Denizli admits he would prefer not to have to face Manchester United's fledglings at Old Trafford on Wednesday night.

Last Updated: 24/11/09 at 19:23

Denizli: Takes Turks to Old Trafford

Denizli: Takes Turks to Old Trafford

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With qualification for the Champions League knock-out stage already secure, Ferguson will include a number of youngsters against the Turkish champions, with Darron Gibson and Rafael Da Silva among those set to get an opportunity.

The move does not sit easily with Denizli. It is not because he feels Ferguson is taking his own team for granted, more that his own planning has just got much harder.

"I would prefer to play against a more familiar United team," said Denizli. "It is easier to plan for.

"The young players are still good players but, as a team, they are also an unknown quantity.

"What I do know is that some of these guys will be stars in the future. When you are talking about Rafael I would say it is 100% guaranteed."

For Denizli, the game does offer a shot at redemption.

Not long into a coaching career that dates back to 1983, the former Galatasaray player took charge of the Turkish national side for a European Championship qualifier with England at Wembley.

The result was an 8-0 hammering, in which Gary Lineker netted a hat-trick.

In fairness, Denizli has managed to put that horrendous day behind him, and putting one over on Ferguson would be a good way to make headlines for the right reasons.

"We all know about Manchester United," he said. "We all know about the success they have had and the trophies they have won under Sir Alex Ferguson.

"It will be an honour to walk out with him as an equal at Old Trafford tomorrow. But it would be even better to win."

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