FOOTBALL NEWS

18/10/2012 15:53, Report by Mark Froggatt
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Stoke calls for strength

Nani says his United team-mates “must be strong and play our own game” if they are to beat Stoke City in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday.

Following a busy international break playing for Portugal, including a home draw against Jonny Evans’ Northern Ireland, the Reds winger is hoping to return to domestic action against the Potters and is confident his team-mates can prevail against Tony Pulis’ side.

“It is always hard to play against Stoke because they play a different kind of football to most teams in the Premier League. They are very physical and have very strong players,” Nani told ManUtd.com and MUTV.

“It is also difficult because most of the game is in the air. We need to be strong and try to play our game. We are playing at home and we have to believe we can win the three points. It is very important because when you play at home, you have a good chance to win these games.”

Saturday’s match at Old Trafford is also the first of seven Barclays Premier League matches in just over five weeks for United, before entering the even busier December period. This provides an opportunity to build some serious momentum, although Nani is only looking at the short term.

“It is a good time for us," he said. "We had a very good result last time against Newcastle before the international break so we are confident and it is a good time to start to believe. But we do not set long-term targets - our only target is to always win the game and to finish on top.”

Nani is one of many United players who have travelled the globe in order to represent their individual nations over the last two weeks, and the Portuguese star is admittedly unsure what effect that might have on performance.

“It is very important to recover because we have hard competition and lots of games, so we need to be ready for the next match," said Nani. "At Carrington they are making a bigger space with more facilities for the players to recover and enjoy. It is nice.

“It is a bit hard because we are tired after the (international) games and we have to travel and be ready for the next

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