Exclusive: Andreas happy to put the team first
Manchester United midfielder Andreas Pereira says he always puts the team first when he is pulling on the famous red shirt.
The 23-year-old has made 20 appearances this season in all competitions, and will hope to start the Carabao Cup quarter-final with Colchester United on Wednesday night at Old Trafford.
A versatile performer, he was selected in a deeper role during Scott McTominay's recent absence through injury and has no qualms about operating there, even if manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer recently suggested his best position is further up the pitch.
"We found, more or less, his position earlier on in the season," Ole said at the start of the month. "He’s an attacking midfielder. Of course, when you lack your three more experienced ones with Nemanja [Matic], Paul [Pogba] and Scott, Andreas has to cover that role and he’s doing a job for the team."
“You have to help the team out and we didn't have Scotty because he was injured,” Andreas told us. “I had played central midfield and I hadn't played there for a long time but I tried to do my best for the team.
“Anytime, I will do it to help the manager and the team get results and get better.
“Of course, my natural role is more attacking but I'll play anywhere the manager wants. I have to repay his faith every time I'm on the pitch. I am very thankful for what he did for me and is doing every day. He knows my qualities and knows why I'm in the first team and he puts me in to play. It feels very good to have the trust of him and all the staff.”
“Of course, it's nice when you do skill like that and there is something productive at the end of it,” he smiled. “Ashley scored a goal and I was very happy for him as well.
“You want something at the end of it - it tastes better. If you do some skill and nothing comes of it, it's pointless, you know.
“Over time, you get more confident and start showing more and more what you're about and what you have got to give to the team.”
As for Colchester, Andreas believes the experience gained of being taken to a penalty shoot-out by Rochdale earlier in the competition will stand the Reds in good stead, with no complacency on show against the League Two outfit. He scored his spot-kick on that occasion and backs himself from 12 yards.
"It was good to learn a lesson from that," he said. "We want to go forward. We do practice penalties, for sure, as we see who is taking them well and take a moment to see who is more prepared to have one than others."
If the Reds can get past Colchester, there will be a two-legged semi-final to look forward to in early 2020.
“It's an important game and we'll get ready and prepared for it,” he said. “It's a big chance to get to the semi-finals and win a cup.
“It's very nice to be at home with the home fans enjoying another game. Colchester will be well up for it, it's the game of their lives and we know everybody wants to beat United. But we will be ready for the fight.
“My new year's goal is winning trophies, it would be a first Carabao Cup for me, and, after that, we have the FA Cup and Europa League. We have three cups and I want to win all three.”
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