Monday 20 January 2020

Forget what Fergie says, we can’t look on bright side after Galatasaray defeat, reveals Man United ’keeper Lindegaard

Simon Stone

ANDERS LINDEGAARD finds it hard to look on the bright side as Manchester United lost their 100% Champions League record.

With qualification already assured, Sir Alex Ferguson opted to leave most of his senior stars out of the trip to Galatasaray, meaning a 1-0 defeat was hardly a surprise.

And while Ferguson - who flew home immediately after the game to attend the funeral of former player Harry McShane - never likes losing, with Phil Jones able to play for the first time this season and 18-year-old Nick Powell performing well on the biggest night of his career so far, the Scot had reasons to think the occasion had been a positive experience.

But for Lindegaard, who returned to the starting line-up at Norwich last weekend as David de Gea was recovering from having his wisdom teeth out, defeat was particularly painful.

"I have played in two games in a row now and we have lost them both," the Denmark international said. "It's very hard to find smiles about anything or a positive side.

"We have an important game on Saturday against QPR and need to get back on track."

That encounter with QPR is crucial, both in terms of United battling for the title and Mark Hughes' job prospects at Loftus Road.

The bad news for Hughes is that Ferguson has almost an entire team - including Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie - who have had a full week to prepare. He has also been hit by news that striker Bobby Zamora will out for three months with a hip injury.

In addition, he finally has a choice to make at the back following Jones' return at the Turk Telecom Arena.

"Phil did well," Lindegaard added. "He showed he's on the way back and that he's an important player for us.

"He's going to be very important in the next couple of months when we have plenty of games coming up."

For those supporters on Ferguson's flight, on which he was accompanied by Sir Bobby Charlton, one of the main talking points was the incredible atmosphere.

The Galatasaray supporters did not enter the ground two hours before kick-off, as was the case on that infamous 'Welcome to Hell' visit 19 years ago. Neither was there anything sinister about their support.

But the noise was almost ear-splitting and Lindegaard confirmed communication with his defenders at times was totally impossible.

"It was a special atmosphere to play in," he said. "So hectic, noisy and loud. I couldn't really communicate by yelling and talking.

"I needed to be more visual and show where I wanted the ball or what kind of pass I was giving, or whether the defenders should turn on it or play it back."

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