Telles anticipates tough Anfield test
Manchester United defender Alex Telles believes our derby match with rivals Liverpool will be decided by fine margins.
Our Brazilian full-back spoke exclusively to MUTV ahead of Tuesday night's trip to Anfield in the Premier League, sharing his anticipation for the clash.
“You're already highly motivated for a 'clasico' by the nature of such a big game,” he said. “We don't need any additional motivation given the atmosphere and emotion.
“From my previous experience [of playing in derbies] I think it's important to concentrate. Derbies are decided by details and the team that focuses more on the fine details will win.”
As one of the most fiercely contested fixtures in English football, the historic rivalry between United and Liverpool was something Telles was aware of when he first arrived at the club.
The 29-year-old expressed his pride at being involved in the massive fixture.
He said: “I'm really happy to be representing this side, doing my best to help Manchester United. I'm certain it will be a tough derby game.
“We'll be prepared, we know [how] we have to play to win in derbies."
He added: “I don't think any additional motivation is required to have a good game at a tough away ground. We're representing Manchester United, we are all motivated and aware of our duty. It will be a difficult game, though we're preparing for the game to win it.”
For the Brazilian, the match will also see him come up against a number of his Seleção teammates; Alisson, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino.
“Friendship remains off the pitch,” said Telles. “When we step on the pitch, we fight for our team, our teammates.
“There's no friendship on the pitch until the final whistle blows, then we're good friends again. But as soon as the game starts friendship is put to one side.”
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Telles provided the assist for Cristiano Ronaldo's second goal in our 3-2 win Norwich on Saturday, prompting jubilant celebrations from the left-back.
Asked about his spirited playing style, Telles said: “I've always been this way, it's a part of my life. Everything I've achieved is through love and passion.
“I know how difficult it's been to get to where I am today, at a club like Manchester United, every kick of the ball is a unique moment for me, that's how I see it.”
The Brazilian added: “The way I live and fight, the way I chase goals in my life is evident on the pitch. I don't think there's a difference [between how I play and live]. Every player has their own characteristics in life and on the pitch.
“Playing with passion and doing my best to the very end are mine."
Liverpool go into Tuesday's clash second in the Premier League, just a point off the summit.
Despite the form of the hosts, Telles is focusing on winning every match between now and the end of the season.
He said: “At this point in the season all games are difficult. This season has shown that there are no easy games.
“Regardless of the opponent and their league position, they will be difficult games that we need to win.”
Kick-off at Anfield on Tuesday is at 20:00 BST, with coverage on MUTV, online and via our official App.