Gomes: Reds youngsters defying the odds
Angel Gomes admits he is part of a group of youngsters who are bucking the normal trend but is absolutely determined to take his chance in Manchester United's first team.
The talented midfielder has been one of the homegrown products promoted by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season, and surely would have added to his six appearances in 2019/20 but for injury.
After coming off the bench in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final with Manchester City and the convincing win over Norwich City, he is clearly in the manager's thoughts and was an unused substitute during the midweek defeat to Burnley.
The 19-year-old is hoping he will get a chance to show his talents at Tranmere Rovers in the Emirates FA Cup fourth round on Sunday, along with his peers such as Brandon Williams, James Garner, Tahith Chong and Mason Greenwood.
"We speak about it often, when we compare it to tournaments we went to when we were younger," he told MUTV. "Stuff like that. Growing up in the Academy, we didn't really think we'd all make it together into the first team and be there around it.
“That was always the goal but we were often told you don't always make it through together with your team-mates. Luckily, we've had the chance to break through and to make it through together. Everyone is just encouraging towards us and each chance each of us gets is to try to show why we're in the first team."
Gomes is keen to show he can handle the challenge at senior level, whenever the next chance arises, and produce more moments like when he helped set up Marcus Rashford's goal in the latest derby at Old Trafford.
"It's just getting the opportunity really and being able to take it with both hands," he said. "Whichever game that is, it's being able to do my best to show what I can do."
If he does play at Prenton Park, it will be his second outing at the Birkenhead venue this term, after being part of the Under-21s side that were beaten 3-2 in the Leasing.com Trophy knockout stages last month.
"It was a tough game with the conditions," the youngster recalled. "We had an experienced side against a group of men and it was a good battle. We were ahead in the game and I can just remember the pitch wasn't the best. But that is what you're going to come up against and face, it's just being prepared to be able to battle in any circumstances really.
“The competition was very useful, just to get experience of playing against tougher and older sides with experience. I think it was good for the lads, who all showed good quality when they played, and weren't really fazed by it. We were unlucky when we got knocked out but the lads have responded well in the league [Premier League 2]."
Will Angel start in Sunday's FA Cup tie? Predict the line-up in our competition.
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