Date: 12 May 2017 12:03
The Ivorian centre-back will miss the final against Ajax after his sending-off on Thursday but his team-mate is sure the side can cope without him
Matteo Darmian believes Eric Bailly’s absence from the Europa League final will simply add to Manchester United’s motivation to bring the trophy home.
United face Ajax in the final in Stockholm on May 24, but they will be without centre-back Bailly following his sending-off in the final moments of the semi-final second leg against Celta Vigo.
However, Darmian has told reporters that United have the squad to cope without the Ivorian, who was not in the best of moods in the dressing room after his red card on Thursday.
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“Of course he was not very happy for the red card, but we have other players to cope with that,” said the Italian. “He’s another reason to win the Europa League and I said that before if a player cannot be on the pitch.
“We miss a lot of players because I think also Marcos Rojo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Luke Shaw, Ashley Young [are out] but it’s a big challenge to win the trophy also for this player.
“I think he’s very important for us, he’s a good player for us but like I said before we have other players who are also very good. Now we go every time to win with the same mentality.”
The 27-year-old added that while the Europa League now provides United with a great chance to qualify for the Champions League, there is still a job to be done in the Premier League run-in.
“It’s always good to reach a final,” he said. “It was very important for us to reach this final and it’s always good if there is a possibility to win a trophy. We go to Stockholm to win the Europa League because it’s a great opportunity for us to play Champions League next season.
“Now we are in the final we want to conclude the rest of the season well so we have to be focused. We have the last three matches of the Premier League and then this final.”
That run of fixtures begins with a trip to Tottenham on Sunday for the final fixture at White Hart Lane, and the former Torino, Palermo and Milan full-back believes his side will be concentrating hard on doing a job while there remains an outside shot of finishing in the top four.
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“We are Manchester United and we always want to win every game. Also these three games of the Premier League, we go to London to Tottenham this weekend, away against Southampton and then at home on the last game of the season in front of our fans and we want to win every game to be ready for the final. Of course wins help to win so we want that.
“I think Tottenham is a very good team so it will be difficult. We only have a few days to recover but we have to be ready. We go there and try to win because I think playing this kind of game is always special, always a good feeling. We go there with the same mentality, same attitude and try to win.
“Until the mathematics that we can reach the top four… [we keep going].
“I think playing against Tottenham is always hard not just because it is the last game at White Hart Lane. I think they have a very good team so we have to be ready. Like I said before we go there with the same attitude, same mentality and our mentality is to win every game.”