Tom Cleverley has urged United to take unassailable control of tonight’s FA Cup tie by playing a rapid passing game and not allowing West Ham to force their way into the match.
That’s exactly what the Reds did at the start of the third round match at Upton Park, and Cleverley’s 23rd-minute opener was reward for some bright attacking play.
However, West Ham soon imposed themselves more physically on the game and James Collins’ two headed goals in either half looked like earning Sam Allardyce’s side a place in the fourth round until substitute Robin van Persie intervened. United now have a second shot at instilling that game plan.
“I thought we started really well in the first leg,” Tom says in tonight’s United Review. “We got a deserved lead and then they came back into it. A draw was maybe a fair result and hopefully we can finish the job tonight.
“We knew what their strengths were and they played to them well. Two good crosses, two good headers and suddenly we were behind. I didn’t think we deserved to lose the game, and it was a great ball from Giggsy and a great finish from Robin to keep us in it.”
So how do United go about booking a place in the fourth round? “We’ll try and get the passing game going and make a game that will suit us more than them,” Tom adds. “As long as we take the initiative and start the game well, I’m sure we can get a good rhythm going.”
Read the full Tom Cleverley interview in United Review.