Lindelof: We are heading to Etihad full of confidence
VICTOR Lindelof admits his teammates are ‘very confident’ United can go to the Etihad and make it ‘difficult’ for City tomorrow.
After a tough start to the season in which the Reds won just four of their opening 10 games in all competitions, Jose Mourinho has got things back on track and his side are now just four points off the top four.
Time and time again this year, United have come from behind to pull off some famous comebacks, such as Wednesday night’s 2-1 win against Juventus in the Champions League.
Perhaps the most satisfying turnaround for United fans this year was the derby victory in April. They went into half-time fortunate to only be 2-0 down at the Etihad but managed to turn the game on its head in the second half to delay City’s title celebrations.
The result? A brutal dressing room inquest as Fabian Delph, Yaya Toure, Vincent Kompany and Pep Guardiola somehow tried to make sense of how City lost the game.
And Lindelof believes recent results have given the United squad the belief they can get another result against their bitter rivals.
“It’s a very good team, especially at home, so it’s going to be a very tough task for us,” Lindelof said.
“But we feel very confident that we can go there and make it difficult for them.
“It’s a very good team with very good players so you have to be on your toes all the time. You can’t relax for a second, you have to always be focused and ready for everything, so I’m looking forward to the game and, hopefully, I will play and I can help the team to another win.”
Lindelof has been at the heart of United’s revival in recent weeks – starting the past five games – and is beginning to look like the confident defender who impressed Mourinho during his time at Benfica. For so long David de Gea has been without a settled centreback partnership in front of him and while United are struggling to keep clean sheets, Lindelof and Chris Smalling have been their most reliable pairing this season. What a contrast to a year ago when Lindelof had an afternoon to forget at Huddersfield and
ROMELU Lukaku could return for United in tomorrow’s derby.
The striker missed the two wins over Bournemouth and Juventus with a thigh injury he sustained in training last Friday, but took part in the squad’s training session at Carrington yesterday.
It is understood he has done light training the for the past two days.
United have coped well without Lukaku, who was dropped for the 2-1 win against Everton two weeks ago, but Mourinho thinks there is a chance the Belgian could be available at the Etihad Stadium.
“Yeah, Lukaku is training,” Mourinho said. “If the answer is positive and we have, of course, one more session tomorrow, if the answer is positive he’s ready, but in this moment I can only say he trains with the team – I don’t know his answer.”
Mourinho added: “No new injuries. So from Juventus we don’t bring important injuries.
“I don’t think any player that was available for Juventus will be out. We have a chance that Lukaku could be back.” struggled to nail down a starting berth. So how important has Mourinho been in helping the Swede adjust to the rigours of English football?
“I think ever since I came he has been very important to me,” he said.
“I can’t find the right word in English but, yes, very important for me.”
Romelu Lukaku could yet play a part in the derby