Shane Ferguson

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

With three assists in his last three games, Shane Ferguson could start against Manchester United on Sunday - and come face-to-face with his hero.

Like so many youngsters of his generation the Derry-born 21-year-old grew up idolising Red Devils legend Ryan Giggs, who made his first-team debut against Everton in March 1991... four months before Ferguson was even born.

And the in-form Northern Ireland international has put himself in contention for the weekend's clash with the side he supported as a boy, with his delivery from the left a key feature in Newcastle's last trio of games in three different competitions.

In the Capital One Cup last week, he crossed for Papiss Cisse to head home, then set up Demba Ba's late leveller at Reading before teeing up Cisse again as United beat Bordeaux on Thursday night.

So Ferguson hopes such impressive statistics will help to propel him into the starting XI on Sunday against a side he has reluctantly confessed to having a soft spot for before his arrival on Tyneside.

"Aye, as a kid," he told with a sheepish grin. "I can't really admit that but when I was younger I used to follow them.

"So it would be great to be involved in that match and just to play against them at our place having played at Old Trafford last week."

As a boy, he enjoyed a tour of Manchester United's famous stadium and on the playground he would pretend to be fellow left-footer Giggs.

But having recovered from the groin injury which sidelined him for most of the build-up to the current campaign, the Little Benton Academy product is starting to get used to mixing with such big names and now he's aiming to do so on a more regular basis.

"Hopefully, but I'm not going to get ahead of myself," he vowed.

"I'm just going to take each game as it comes and each chance I get, I'll just see how it goes.

"Hopefully I'm showing everyone what I can do and I'm just trying to keep progressing now and keep working hard, and hopefully I'll get some more chances."

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