Manchester United take on Hull City on Tuesday night in the first leg of their EFL Cup semi-final at Old Trafford. French midfielder Paul Pogba has challenged his teammates to finish the tie at Old Trafford to avoid a testing tie at the KCOM Stadium next week. United struggled there earlier in the season and scraped a 1-0 win thanks to a late Marcus Rashford goal. With that in mind, and a place in the EFL Cup final up for grabs, the Frenchman understands how important it is United get a big win tonight. He told the official Manchester United website, saying:
“It’s a game we want to win of course, it’s a semi-final, we want to be in the final and we want to win that cup. If we have the chance to win any trophy we want to take it. It’s an important game for us and the second leg will be difficult so let’s try to finish the tie in the first leg.
“It’s a cup semi-final and they’re playing against Manchester United so they have nothing to lose. They’ll want to take anything that they can as they’re not doing as well as they’d like at this moment. They’ve had a change of manager too and will want to win this game as it’s very important for them.
“We’ve been playing very well, but we know how football can go. You can go out there and things can turn straightaway. We need to be focused and if we keep playing the football we are playing at the moment then we will be okay.”
There’s no doubt that Pogba wants to win all the trophies on offer at United, and knows United should be competing for silverware, continuing by saying:
“I am a winner and when I play I want to win. Every league game, every cup game, I want to win otherwise there is no point in playing football! I want to win my first trophy with United and if we have a chance in the cup we have to take it.”
Pogba is expected to return to United’s lineup after he sat out of the FA Cup win against Reading on Saturday, after featuring in nearly every game this season for the club. United’s world record signing has been in brilliant form over the past few weeks and has really started to blossom in that midfield three, alongside Michael Carrick and Ander Herrera.
The only worry for United fans is that if Jose Mourinho does bring in the big names for the first leg such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba, and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who in my opinion, all need to play against Liverpool, then the worry will be if any of those players get injured. United have been on a fantastic run of form lately, with eight wins on the bounce in all competitions. No doubt, they’ll want to extend that against Hull and then against Liverpool at the weekend.
United have more than enough firepower to put this tie to bed tonight and all but officially book our place at Wembley but with Hull just hiring a new manager, Marco Silva, no doubt the team will want to impress and players will want to show they are worthy of a place in his team. Hull could make this a tricky test, but United’s focus should be the game at the weekend, in my opinion. It can make or break the season.