Middlesbrough boss Chris Wilder excited for Manchester United FA Cup clash

Manchester United will rightly be heavy favourites going into next week’s FA Cup fourth round clash at home to Middlesbrough.

If you are feeling over-confident, think again. Middlesbrough manager is Chris Wilder, the boss who led Sheffield United to a shock win at Old Trafford almost exactly one year ago.

This surprise defeat really derailed United just when the team were clicking into form, and sparked the beginning of the end of the side’s flirtation with a title challenge.


Wilder left Sheffield United in March and was appointed as Middlesbrough manager in November. He has helped improve them from 14th to 7th in the Championship since he took over.


Speaking to The Times, Wilder is excited about the upcoming FA Cup clash at Old Trafford, where all the pressure is on Manchester United.

He said: “On the pitch it’s a great challenge for the players in arguably the best arena in European football — 75,000 people there and live on TV on a Friday night. Financially, it’s a great one for us, to get us through this transfer window.

“We want to turn up and do well and make the game as competitive as it possibly could be.“Against United you need a little bit of luck, and your ’keeper has to make great saves and you have to take the minimal opportunities you get. There’s no downside to the game.”

United have to get team selection right

The FA Cup is a competition Manchester United want to take seriously this year, and facing in-form promotion challengers Middlesbrough will arguably be even more competitive than the next Premier League game against out of form relegation battlers Burnley.

United cannot afford to get the team selection wrong and over rotate by over-indulging squad players or youngsters.

This match needs to be approached with the intensity of a Premier League fixture, or United will get found out.

Middlesbrough boss Wilder knows what it takes to win an Old Trafford, and while he notes they will need ‘a little bit of luck’, his side will be sent out to compete for every ball and work relentlessly to seize their opportunity.

Ralf Rangnick will expect the same of his players, and United need to return to action with a victory to set up a potentially successful month ahead.

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