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Manchester United's John O'Shea is the latest to hail the Premier League title holders' strength in depth as they are looking to retain their crown this season, as well as compete in the Champions League and FA Cup.....

Having thrashed Kevin Keegan's Newcastle United 5-1 at St. James' Park this weekend, it is worth noting that Sir Alex Ferguson rotated a lot of his regular starters, with the likes of Owen Hargreaves and Ryan Giggs not even making the squad.

Nevertheless, they put the Toon Army to the sword, inflicting their heaviest defeat under Keegan since his return.

John O'Shea — who replaced an ill Patrice Evra at half time — has told MUTV of his delight with the all-round quality of the squad, something they perhaps lacked last season.

Despite hanging on to beat a relentless Chelsea to the league title, they were dumped out of the Champions League in the semi-finals by Milan largely due to an under-strength second string that were not up to the task, and lost the FA Cup final to Chelsea, looking extremely tired and jaded throughout the encounter.

With reinforcements in the shape of Anderson, Carlos Tevez, Owen Hargreaves and Nani arriving this summer, many at Old Trafford believe the side now have the quality to go one better and emulate the treble of 1999.

“It's a dream situation," gushed O'Shea. "About this time last season we picked up a few injuries and the squad was quite bare, but this year it's been fantastic.

“The manager can keep his side fresh, changing one or two things around without really affecting how the team is playing, which is ideal because there are games coming up thick and fast in the league and Champions League.

“The manager has faith in the quality of his squad and we have to repay that by winning trophies.â€

Having already thumped Newcastle 6-0 at home this season, another emphatic scoreline like this will have sent the Geordies into shock. O'Shea, though keen to revel in such great performances, has insisted that there is no margin for error, as the Red Devils have been beaten twice — 1-0 and 2-1 — by local rivals Manchester City this season.

“They'll [Newcastle] be glad to see the back of us this season,†said O'Shea. “We have so many great players that if we create that many chances, and things fall for us, there are going to be scorelines like that.

“We can never play as badly again as we did against City.â€

The Irishman reserved special praise for United's two brightest attacking talents. Cristiano Ronaldo bagged another brace at St. James' Park to take his tally this season to an exceptional 29, while Wayne Rooney — ever important to United's success — has scored eight goals in as many games against the Magpies so far in his career.

“I'm sure Wayne would like to play Newcastle every week!†O'Shea jibed. “He puts in so much effort every week that the rewards were always going to come for him.

“And Ronaldo is top of the scoring charts now.It's an amazing achievement but he just wants the team to do well.â€
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