Matteo Darmian wants to help Manchester United retain the Carabao Cup this season


Manchester United defender Matteo Darmian has stated that he believes the Old Trafford club will always compete to win every trophy they participate for and that the determination to do that within the squad is to retain the Carabao Cup. United lifted the then EFL Cup at Wembley in February after beating Southampton 3-2, the first major honour of the reign of Jose Mourinho, breaking a record in winning a trophy in the debut season of the manager at the club, which had not been done before. The Italian right-back, who has also played at left-back with Luka Shaw out of the picture through injury, spoke to the clubs official matchday programme, United Review, saying:

“I think it’s always difficult to defend a title, but we will try. We want to win every trophy. When we are on the pitch, we try to win every game, and that’s our main mentality.”

Darmian has started two matches so far this season, could start his third with Antonio Valencia being rested, seeing him play the role he was brought to the club to play in by former manager Louis van Gaal. Darmian started that season being compared to Gary Neville but then fell foul of form, ending the season as a peripheral figure in the squad. United face Championship side Burton Albion at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening in the third round tie, seeking a place in the draw for the fourth round of the competition. Darmian when asked if it was important to get a home draw in domestic cup competitions, said:

“Yes, of course, to play at home is always important and good. But every game is different and every game is difficult, so we have to be ready, we have to prepare well for the game and we have to win.”

Nigel Clough’s Burton side visit Old Trafford, the third consecutive home match of the season and one which will mean Jose Mourinho’s side will have played seven matches in 22 days, being the first busy period fo the new season. Mourinho’s United are participating in the Premier League, the return of the UEFA Champions League and now the Carabao Cup. United will be confident of getting the result required to earn a place in the fourth round of the league cup after winning both home matches over the past week or so; a 3-0 victory over FC Basel and a 4-0 victory over Everton. Speaking about United’s squad and the importance of every member of it, Darmian said:

“We have a very good squad, 25 very good players, so every player is important, especially when we have seven games in 22 days. So everyone has to be ready, everyone will be ready. When the manager gives us the chance, we have to take it.

“Every time I’m on the pitch, I try to do my best and try to help the team to achieve victory. That’s my mentality: to work hard during the week, so I’m ready if the manager gives me an opportunity.

“We’ve started very well, we are playing very well, so I hope we can continue. To do that, we need to work hard and that’s it, trying to win every game is not easy but we are ready for that challenge.”

Last season, United started their journey to lifting the EFL Cup by facing lower-league opposition Northampton Town, winning 3-1 away from home. It was the fifth time United had won the trophy, the last time was in 2010 prior to that with United seeking the bigger trophies in the latter years of Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign as the manager. Mourinho is seeking trophies, as that is what matters in football. United endured a tough season during Mourinho’s debut, missing out on a top four place in the Premier League, but earning UEFA Champions League football by winning the UEFA Europa League, winning a double last season. Darmian feels that United’s squad was the springboard to their success last season, saying:

“Of course, to win a trophy is always important, because it’s a very good feeling and helps give confidence to continue working hard and reaching our objectives. I think it gave us more confidence and it was good to win a trophy.”

When United lifted the EFL Cup last season, it was the first since 2010 with United leading 2-0 at a stage in the match, conceding two goals to make it 2-2 with Zlatan Ibrahimovic scoring the winner in the 3-2 victory, which was unfortunate for Southampton, who were the better team when they clawed back United’s 2-0 lead. Darmian spoke about that match, his first league cup final for United, but not his first cup final, the Emirates FA Cup being his first, saying:

“It was an incredible match, a very crazy game. But at the end, we won and it was very good, a great match. When we won, it was a good feeling for us, for everyone, for the fans, for the club, so we want to reach our objective and win more trophies this season.”

Both Darmian and Manchester United would like there to be more success in 2018 with United currently sharing the top spot in the Premier League with Manchester City, alphabetical order pushing United into second place. Also winning their first group stage clash in the Champions League and possibly a victory and a place in the fourth round draw of the Carabao Cup at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening. United have found the winning mentality needed to progress the club, not the important part is keeping that mentality and using it to push them to achieve more this season, pushing their rivals aside and standing up to be counted.

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