Sunday 18 March 2018

Moyes: Welbeck poised to deliver after knuckling down

Danny Welbeck is benefiting from a spot of overtime
Danny Welbeck is benefiting from a spot of overtime

Mark Ogden

David Moyes claims that Danny Welbeck is benefiting from a spot of overtime after ordering the Manchester United forward to follow Wayne Rooney's example of extra practice by becoming the "last off the training field".

Welbeck (pictured below) is expected to retain his starting position in the League Cup quarter-final at Stoke City tonight after scoring twice in the 3-0 victory against Aston Villa on Sunday.

The 23-year-old's goals at Villa Park were his first in the league since the opening day of the season and, with the England forward only scoring twice in all competitions for United during the 2012-13 campaign, concerns have been raised over his ability to deliver regularly for club and country.

Moyes has revealed, however, that a recent pep talk with Welbeck about his willingness to work on his game has led to a swift upturn in the forward's performance.

"I've got to say, we had a word with him about a month ago and said that he needs to be the last off the training field," Moyes said.

"Wayne is out there practising his finishing each day, whether it's taking free-kicks, shooting from tight angles or bending them in.

"Whatever it may be, Wayne is practising and I said, 'Danny, you need to be out there every day finishing, even if it's 15 minutes at the end'.

"I think the young boys here are educated to keep improving and practice, but sometimes you can, without knowing, slip away from that.

"So we just said, every day, give yourself an extra 10-15 minutes at the end of every session and practise all different types of finishing -- inside the box, outside the box, heading -- and let's see if we can get more goals from you.

"He has taken heed and, if you remember when he got through against Villa on the right and just pulled it past the post, it was similar to what he's been practising regularly.

"I thought, 'Here you go, put your practice into operation here'. Danny is a quick boy and I think he has an awful lot of attributes. He just has to say, 'Hey, come on, I'm going to have to take this on to another level'. We're trying to get him to do that."

Welbeck's return of 24 goals in 116 appearances for United is largely unimpressive, with the forward only recording double figures once -- he scored 12 goals in 2011-12 -- since first breaking into the team in 2008.

Moyes admits that, despite the recent improvements in his all-round game, Welbeck needs to improve his strike rate.

"If you asked Danny, he would see himself as a striker," the United manager said. "But what gets you a game as a striker? Goals.

"Whether you score them inside the box or outside the box, from distance or from tap-ins, if you want to be a striker in the Premier League, and especially at a club like Manchester United, you have to be a goalscorer.

"Everybody told me he only scored one league goal last season, but he has five this season, so that's a positive start for him.

"He has also been out with injury, but he needs to score more goals. I think he needs to say, 'This is what I do and this is what I have to do regularly'."

Moyes is planning to rotate his squad at the Britannia Stadium tonight, with one eye on the Premier League fixture against West Ham United at Old Trafford on Saturday which his team must win to stay in touch with the Champions League contenders around the top four.

Shinji Kagawa could return to the squad after Moyes revealed that the Japanese midfielder was finally back in training after a recent illness.

"Shinji had a sickness after the Everton game, he threw up and he had an ambulance sent round," Moyes said. "He was ill.

"We check the players every day and we brought him back for the Shakhtar Donetsk game, but he didn't feel good and all his recovery information was really low.

"It is as if he hadn't recovered from the sickness or whatever it was, but he's back, he's trained and he's better. We gave him Sunday off to try to rest him, but he trained on Monday and Tuesday." (© Daily Telegraph, London)



Irish Independent

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