Monday 23 April 2018

Ibrahimovic: It took me only three months to conquer England

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has had a strong, positive impact on Manchester United Photo: PA
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has had a strong, positive impact on Manchester United Photo: PA

James Ducker

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has claimed it has taken him just three months to "conquer" English football as the Manchester United striker warned Chelsea his side will be ready to pounce on any slip-ups from the Premier League leaders.

United go in search of a seventh successive league win - and 10th in all competitions - against Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday, when victory would move Jose Mourinho's team to within two points of their bitter rivals.

Ibrahimovic missed Tuesday's 2-0 win over Hull City in the League Cup through illness but is expected to be fit to lead the line against Liverpool, when he will be looking to add to his tally of 12 goals in as many games and 18 all told this term.

Despite being 35, the Swedish striker has played in every minute of United's league campaign apart from the 1-1 draw against Arsenal that he missed through suspension, and is just one goal behind Chelsea striker Diego Costa the top flight's leading scorer this season.

But Ibrahimovic said he was less bothered about hunting down Costa than catching Chelsea, convinced that United will be much stronger during the second half of the campaign after establishing a clear, attacking identity under Mourinho. United trail Chelsea by 10 points.

"No, I'm not chasing anybody," Ibrahimovic said when asked about Costa. "I'm chasing the head trophy - the Premier League. That is my aim. The individual things come as part of the main objective. If the collective does well, then the individuals will do well.

"I have no individual targets because that I did already. After three months I conquered England. It took three months.

"We had our dips, our ups and downs. Lately, we have been more stabilised as a team.

"The coach has found his base, which is not easy when you're a new coach coming to a new team and want to put in your philosophy.

"I said from the beginning: slowly we will get better and everything was about the click. We needed to click as a team - now you the see the identity of the team."

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