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UEFA Champions League

Man United's Kobbie Mainoo set for back-to-back starts against Galatasaray

Published at :November 29, 2023 at 12:04 AM
Modified at :December 13, 2023 at 1:25 PM
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Rajarshi Shukla

Mainoo returned to action from injury against Everton

Erik ten Hag is set to make the bold move to hand youngster Kobbie Mainoo back-to-back starts in Wednesday night’s crucial Champions League group match in Turkey against Galatasaray.

The Red Devils are under intense pressure to maintain their hopes of qualifying for Europe when they visit the extremely hostile RAMS Park Stadium in Galatasaray.

Manchester United enters Game Week 5 at the bottom of Group A with three points after winning just one of their previous four games. Only the result of their head-to-head match separates Galatasaray, who are currently in third place, from FC Copenhagen, who are in second place.

Bayern Munich leads the group with a single match remaining with a perfect record, meaning they have already qualified as the winners.

Ten Hag needs to make sure all of his attention is on defeating his rivals tomorrow night, even though Thomas Tuchel’s Bavarians are already keeping an eye on the competition’s knockout stages.

While some have questioned if Kobbie Mainoo can play again so quickly in such a significant match, he excelled in his maiden Premier League start against Everton over the weekend.

Since his outstanding performance at Goodison Park, Mainoo-mania has taken over, and Ten Hag was questioned how hard it is going to be for the young guy to maintain his composure in the midst of the excitement.

Ten Hag talking about Kobbie Mainoo said: “We don’t have fear. If players are good enough, they are old enough.

“We are very pleased with that performance, but it’s one performance. You have to do it on a consistent basis. Kobbie is so mature and he knows that. We are confident he will do it. But you are always as good as your last game.”

Asked how to look after a young player making their first steps into the professional game, Ten Hag added: “Enjoy it first, but keep the focus on the game. Don’t get distracted from it so your focus is going to things that are next to football. It’s about the game. You have to focus on your game and your performance.

“If we observe a player is getting distracted, we will tell them. I see his levels in training so I am not concerned at this moment that Kobbie has been distracted from it.”

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