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Manchester United players defiant to bounce back from defeat; the fans should show their defiant support of the club

Manchester United will be back in action on Saturday evening as they welcome Brighton and Hove Albion in the Emirates FA Cup quarter-final. The match will be something that United’s players will be wanting to come quickly after the exit from the UEFA Champions League at the hands of Spanish side Sevilla on Tuesday evening. The shock defeat, which happened after Wassim Ben Yedder scored twice in a few minutes, meaning United would have needed to score three goals, Romelu Lukaku grabbing a consolation goal in the game.

There was a big overreaction from so-called supporters of the club, most wanting the manager, Jose Mourinho to be sacked for the poor team selection and the tactics used, which have been problematic for a while now. The fact supporters call for the manager to be sacked after a defeat is pretty pathetic and has been something which has been present since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson and the shambolic season under David Moyes. The same thing happened under Louis van Gaal’s reign and it happening again now.

There have been many comments from the manager and the players. The comments from the manager drew another reaction with most being offended with the words he used and the way he said them. Whilst I agree it was strange to say what he did, he was right. Manchester United have been here before and will probably be in the same position again. A manager cannot guarantee success 100% of the time. Nemanja Matic also spoke about the defeat and was quoted by the official Manchester United website as saying:

“There is no excuse. We had a big game, as you know, against Liverpool and we came with high confidence to play this game, but Sevilla were better than us, so they deserved it. We have to forget this, but see where we made mistakes and see where we can do better.

“Now we have to look to the next game, which is very important for us, in the FA Cup. We have to refocus on Brighton, because they are a good team and we have to win. We know that our supporters are sad because of this result, so we need to go back to winning ways. Saturday is a new game and lives go on. This is football and we have to accept that.”

Eric Bailly, one of the few players able to hold their heads high after the defeat took to his social media accounts on Wednesday to apologise and ask for forgiveness from the clubs supporters for the exit from the Champions League. The Ivorian, who has been in good form since returning from a spell on the sidelines also stated that ‘we have to get right back up, dust ourselves off, and look ahead’. Reported by the official Manchester United website, Bailly said:

“We ask the fans for forgiveness following our exit. Last night was terrible and we must all reflect and take note so it doesn’t happen again. It’s painful, but we have to get right back up, dust ourselves off, and look ahead.”

Jesse Lingard, one of the most improves players for the club this season, scoring 13 goals in all competitions, also had a message for the supporters via his social media channels. The 25-year-old has today been selected for the England squad for the friendlies against the Netherlands and Italy later this month. Lingard played for 77 minutes against Sevilla, his post saying:

“Angry. Sad. Hurt. Disappointed. A lot of emotions, But knowing how good the bond is between the club, fans and players shows me that we can stick together through the ups and downs and that we can bounce back.”

Marcus Rashford, the player who singlehandedly sank Liverpool three days previously, being switched from the left to the right, which nullified him against Sevilla, all to accommodate Alexis Sanchez. Rashford looked to be full of emotion at the end of the game against Sevilla, and who could blame him. He saw his team fall short, once again. His post on social media said:

“Fell short last night, hard result to take! We have to bounce back on Saturday.”

Romelu Lukaku, the scorer of United’s only goal in 180 minutes of football, was asked by BT Sport about the scenes in the Manchester United dressing room after the defeat which ended their participation in the UEFA Champions League this season. Lukaku talked about several players who were visibly upset over the result with many hiding from the disappointment, which he stated was normal after a loss, it is normal for anyone. The Belgian, after the media had played about with his comment, cleared up what was said on social media, saying:

“Never will I criticise my teammates. Hiding your face when you’re upset in the dressing room is normal… The result is terrible but we’re @manchesterunited and we will bounce back for sure with your support! Another big game coming up, time to prepare for that one! 200 goals now in my young career but it’s time to add trophies in my career… time to work even harder.”

Losing in football is part and parcel of the game we all love. There is nothing that can stop that from coming. Even the best teams in the world, over the entire history of the game, have been defeated, knocked out of important competitions and seen the reaction that has been prevalent in the game for the last five years, for Manchester United anyway. Many of the younger supporters have seen that much success that they have become accustomed to it, expected it and also demanded it. That is not what supporters do.

I am of an age where I have seen the success but also the decline. I am grateful for what Sir Alex Ferguson did for the club but that era is over now. I have seen some dire football in my years supporting Manchester United. I have also seen some magnificent football and lots of luck. At a time where stability is needed, sacking another manager is not going to bring that. Most of the so-called supporters who want to sack Mourinho just don’t have many ideas about who should be brought into the club.

What we need to all do as supporters is get behind the club, the players, and even the manager. Win, lose or draw is how support works. Some people get criticism mixed up with putting someone forward to be sacked. You can criticise without having to sack someone. Jose Mourinho’s tactics for the three games previous to the Sevilla clash may have worked, getting the desired result but sometimes tactics do not work. It happened under Ferguson more than many choose to remember. United play a big game at the weekend, at home. Get behind the team and support them!

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