The first leg of United’s impending pre-season tour is causing a predictable stir in South Africa, according to former Reds goalkeeper Gary Bailey.
Warm-up dates in Durban and Cape Town pit the Reds against AmaZulu and Ajax Cape Town respectively, and Bailey says the country is already abuzz in anticipation.
“South Africa always becomes very excited whenever United are coming over on a pre-season tour," Bailey told ManUtd.com. "There’s a huge following for the club over here and given the season we’ve just had, how exciting that was and how well we played, there’s a sense of pride about the club.
“With the coverage of the Premier League out here – we get every single match – everybody watches the games and the excitement of last season has just heightened things for all fans here.
“It would have been nice to have had a happy ending, but a lot of United fans here are still proud that we were there at the death when nobody else was good enough to challenge City. As devastating as those last five minutes were, the fans here are positive and are looking forward to meeting the players and seeing a young squad with a good future.
“I think Sir Alex has always created a vibe at Old Trafford that makes United bounce back; it’s just part of the culture of the club thanks to him and I’ve no doubt the players will come firing back next season.”
The preparations for United’s bid to regain the Barclays Premier League title begin in earnest against AmaZulu on 18 July; a date with special significance to South Africans.