Angel Gomes poses for his profile picture.

Gomes determined to impose himself

Angel Gomes is determined to take his opportunity and show he belongs in the Manchester United first team.

The 19-year-old made his first competitive start for the club in the 1-0 victory over Astana in the Europa League last Thursday and came off the bench in the weekend's defeat to West Ham United.

He is hoping to be involved again, when Rochdale provide the opposition at Old Trafford tonight (Wednesday) in the Carabao Cup, and is keen to display his ability on the ball. The youngster feels he is growing in confidence all the time after being trusted by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and appreciates this is a chance to shine at senior level. 

Angel Gomes on the ball against Astana.
Angel Gomes has been showing his confidence on the ball.

“It’s something I have worked for my whole life,” he explained to MUTV. “I really don’t want to just see myself as a young player coming up now. I want to impose myself and impose what I can do, and not just show the fans but show the club what I am here for really.”

When asked if the next step is moving on from being a young player into a developed one, he replied: “It’s what we’re trying to achieve. We’re there now in the first team and it’s how you’ve got to think.

“It’s exciting times. Obviously, I grew up here, all my life, and just being here is amazing for me really. Being in the first team is something I’ve worked for and I’m slowly realising it.”

Gomes is targeting success in the competition, even if this is United's first assignment, at the third-round level, as he believes it is important the club sets strong objectives. 

“Growing up at United, winning trophies is all the club knows really,” he said. “We’ll try to emulate that and get as far down the line as possible in the competition.

“No [I don't think it's too early to start looking that far ahead]. Not really. We’ve got to set standards and have the winning mentality. The higher standards we set, the harder we can work towards trying to achieve them.

”I thought I did okay [against Astana]. I tried to get into pockets and tried to go forward, when I could, to create chances. A personal aim is to create a few more chances and get a goal for myself or make a decisive pass that leads to a goal.

“It [showing skill on the ball] comes with confidence, and having more game time and, obviously, more opportunities to show yourself, so it’s something you can expect from the coming games.”

Angel Gomes fires a free-kick towards goal during the FC Astana match at Old Trafford
Angel Gomes has a shot from a free-kick against Astana.

The homegrown product was delighted that Mason Greenwood got off the mark for the senior side against Astana and posted a picture on social media of the pair together as schoolboys with the club.

“I’ve played with Mason from the Under-9s really so it was great to see him score as well,” the midfielder added. “And it was obviously great to play with Chongy [Tahith Chong] as well because I’ve played with him from the start of the Under-18s. We all have that understanding and hunger to try and score.

“It has been a very long journey. Mason and I grew up playing in the Under-9s and in a lot of tournaments. There are a lot more pics I could have posted but I tried to get a few of the other lads in there too. You can see Dylan [Levitt] and Dion [McGhee]. So it was great for him to score his first professional goal. He deserves it. He works hard every day and hopefully a lot more of us can demonstrate that as well.”

 

Gomes feels he knows what to expect from Rochdale, who'll be backed by 5,500 away supporters and will feature a United Academy graduate, Oliver Rathbone, in their ranks.

“They're a League One side, a tough team and physical but that's part of the game anyway,” said Angel. “Every team we play against will be physical, that's a given, so I don't really take that into consideration.

”We’ll try to play our football and attack as much possible, trying to show our strengths.

“They’ll come out all guns blazing, I would imagine. It’s a big game for them, they’ve not played against our club  for a long time and they have an ex-United player in Oli Rathbone.

”I grew up watching him as he was two or three age-groups above me. I know him quite well so hopefully he’ll play and I’ll be able to play against him.

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