Daley Blind praises Wayne Rooney for inspirational pre-match team talk before Manchester derby victory

first_img Wayne Rooney 1 Manchester United utility man Daley Blind has credited a pre-match team talk from captain Wayne Rooney as hugely pivotal to Sunday’s 4-2 victory in the Manchester derby.Arch rivals City had won the previous four contests before the weekend’s encounter at Old Trafford, but goals from Ashley Young, Marouane Fellaini, Juan Mata and Chris Smalling maintained the Red Devils’ faint title hopes.The win ensured bragging rights for the red half of Manchester and prevented what would have been a record fifth straight loss to City, and Blind believes Rooney’s intervention was vital.“It was a thing [the poor recent record] that was always in our minds. Everyone knew how important this game was, not only because it’s a rat race in the last games, but also because of the history of the last four games,” said the Dutchman.“Wayne Rooney mentioned that in the dressing room before the game to all the players and it is something that you have in mind when you go on to the pitch. You saw how everyone was fighting for each other.”United’s thumping win was their sixth consecutive league victory and their form has prompted many into thinking they could mount a realistic challenge for next year’s Premier League, but Blind wants to retain the focus on the rest of this season.He added: “I think Manchester United is always a club that is fighting for the title. Of course other teams are watching us, but we have to watch ourselves this season, our own games, focus on that and then we will see where it ends.“We don’t have to watch for Chelsea. We have to watch for our own games, we have to look at ourselves. Every game is a final to the end and we have to believe in ourselves.”last_img

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