Brian McDermott on Alex Mowatt and Gboly Ariyibi...

Brian McDermott says he will continue to monitor teenage midfielder Alex Mowatt to ensure his development isn't hampered by over playing.

The youngster, who has established himself as a key player since making his debut earlier this season, was left out of the squad which travelled to Blackpool on Boxing Day, with the boss saying the midfielder needed a break from the action.

"I have to look after Alex Mowatt," explained the manager.

"Sam Byram played a lot of games last season - I don't think he missed one until he got injured at the back end - but then he didn't have a pre-season this summer and was playing catch-up.

"We have to be mindful of that with Alex too. We'll see how he is before Sunday. I'll speak with the physios and we'll make a call then. He was tired against Barnsley and we have to look after him."

While the boss praised Michael Brown and Michael Tonge who came into the midfield on Boxing Day, there was another teenager on the bench hoping to make his first appearance.

Gboly Ariyibi is a young winger who hails from America and who was at Southampton's Academy last season. He impressed in training with United and has joined on a short-term basis.

"It wasn't right at Blackpool to bring him on, but we will when the time is right," said the boss.

"I'm not putting pressure on Gboly. He hasn't played for us yet. He has to work hard, which he is doing, and when it's right we'll play him."

United now head for Nottingham Forest on Sunday. Luke Murphy is available again after suspension.

"It's traditionally a fantastic place to play football and we'll look forward to it," added the boss.