Lindelof: Winning at Etihad can turn our season
United go to the league leaders nine points behind their neighbours
Victor Lindelof knows Manchester United will be unable to relax for a second at swashbuckling Manchester City as Jose Mourinho’s men go in search of a derby triumph that can turn their season.
United head to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday basking in the afterglow of one of their most memorable European away days for many a year.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s volley left the footballing world open-mouthed, but it was Juventus that ended Wednesday night stunned as United dug deep to secure a late 2-1 comeback victory in the Champions League.
It was ideal preparation for Sunday’s trip to Pep Guardiola’s City, where another tough 90 minutes lies in wait for Lindelof and his team-mates.
“It’s a very good team, especially at home,” the ever-improving Swedish centre-back said.
“So, it’s going to be a very tough task but we feel very confident we can go there and make it difficult for them. We will start focusing on that game.
“It’s two completely different teams but the win (at Juventus) gave us a lot of confidence which is always good.
“They are a very good team with very good players, so you have to be on your toes all the time and can’t relax for a second.
“You have to be focused and ready for everything so I’m looking forward to the game.
“Hopefully I will play and help the team to another win.”
Asked whether beating City on the back of defeating Juventus could be a turning point in United’s season, Lindelof said: “I think so, yes.
“Obviously, we want to win every game but we had a quite difficult start at the beginning of the season.
“But now we have got some good results in the last few games and we just have to keep working hard every day and go game by game.”
A difficult start would also aptly describe how Lindelof fared United after leaving Benfica last year.
The 24-year-old had some hairy moments during his maiden campaign but has kicked on this term and started all five matches since the last international break.
“It feels good,” Lindelof said. “I’ve been playing a lot of games since the start of the season, I’m just trying to keep on going and doing the best for the team.
“At the moment I feel good – my body is fresh.
“No, I never doubt (myself). I’ve always been confident. You have to work hard, you know.”
Hard work has been complemented by backing from the manager.
📈 #MUFC— Manchester United (@ManUtd) November 9, 2018
While Mourinho has publicly made his frustration clear at the lack of summer reinforcements at centre-back, he has had little to moan about when it comes to Lindelof’s recent form.
“Ever since I came, he’s been very important to me,” the defender said.
“He talks to me, tries to help me, he gives me – how do you say it in English… to improve my game and stuff like that.
“He’s been very important. I think he’s been fantastic and I’m very happy to have him as a coach.”