Manchester United will be looking to win their second piece of silverware this season when they take on Southampton in the EFL Cup final
Building up to the huge game at Wembley, Manchester United’s Argentine defender Marcos Rojo has spoken about the importance of winning the first cup competition of the season. He has also asked the team not to take Southampton lightly as they are known to ruffle the feathers of the strongest teams in the land.
“Winning this cup would be a huge fillip for us from now for the rest of the campaign. We’re close to the places at the top of the league and we have to keep up this level of performance,” Rojo told MUTV.
The Red Devils started the era of Jose Mourinho with a Community Shield victory against 2015/16 Premier League champions Leicester City. Summer signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic starred in that game and has continued his supreme goal-scoring prowess ever since.
Despite playing scintillating attacking football from start to end, the results have not quite been the way Mourinho would have wanted them to be come the start of the season. He has guided his side to close the gap on second-placed Manchester City to just four points, but has failed to capitalise when the team’s around United have not picked up maximum points.
The 26-year-old added: “It’s the first step in gaining more confidence and continuing our growth as a team. The EFL Cup is there to be won, and that’s what we have to do, and then keep progressing in the other competitions.”
The cup final, will thus, prove to be a platform where the players can win realistic silverware this term and it could give them a boost to challenge for the competitions they are in until the end of the season.
This will be United’s eight league cup final, and they head into it on the back of a five-game winning run. They have beaten Blackburn and Saint Etienne in the FA Cup and Europa League respectively and registered another three wins in the Premier League.
Their opponents on the day, Southampton, encountered a tough semi-final draw against giants Liverpool, but managed to come out unscathed and set up a date with Manchester United at Wembley.
Rojo spoke extremely highly of the Southampton side and stated that the United players will not be taking them lightly. He said: “It’s going to be tough for us. Any opponent you play in a cup final is going to make life hard for you.
“Southampton are worthy finalists who deserve to play in this game. They will be a very difficult opponent and we should, in no way, underestimate them at all. They will feel like we are the favourites, and they have nothing to lose.”
Unlike the Red Devils, the Saints have had a relaxed run going into this game as they have had a fortnight to prepare as they were knocked out in the initial stages of the FA Cup. Their last game was against Sunderland in the Premier League; whom they defeated 4-0.
In fact, Southampton are yet to concede a single goal in the FA Cup – a memorable feat in itself. They will be riding high on the back of recent results in the competition and will be looking to spoil the party for the Manchester outfit.