Fred: We're ready for Wolves cup test
Brazilian midfielder Fred believes Manchester United have "a real chance" of lifting the club's 13th FA Cup in May, as the Reds head into Saturday's quarter-final against Wolves at Molineux.
The 26-year-old accepts the clash in the Black Country will be a tough test for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men, but is looking forward to facing Wolves after an emotional first encounter with the Midlanders back in September.
"I’m looking forward to it," explained the former Shakhtar Donetsk player. "It’ll be a difficult match but it’ll be a good match, facing the team I scored my first goal for United against. So I’m looking forward to it. I just want to get out there and play the match.
“They’re a great team with very good players. But we’re well aware that it won’t be easy, so we’re ready for it. We know how hard it’s going to be, but we’ll be going for the win.”
Fred opened his United account against Wolves, dedicating the goal to his partner and son.
Fred opened the scoring when the sides met earlier this season at Old Trafford in the Premier League, and that first United strike was doubly special to the Reds' no.17 because of its sentimental value.
"I dedicated it to my son, who hadn’t been born at the time," revealed the Brazilian international. "And I was just really happy, really pleased with the goal.
“It was a really nice goal. I was playing really well and the match was going well. It was a lovely pass by Paul. I hit it with my right foot, which isn’t my strongest, but it went in. I remember it well. I remember being so happy to have scored. It was my first goal at Old Trafford and it was against them. I can still see it now.”
Fred's partner Monique was proudly watching on, a few months ahead of giving birth to their son, Benjamin, in January.
"She was really happy," he admits. "She was pregnant with Benjamin. She was really happy with the goal and with my little homage, and so pleased that I’d scored and dedicated it to him."
But, while the mention of Wolves might bring fond memories to mind, the playmaker recognises the need for both he and the team to look forward, with this weekend's match pitting two sides that are both in excellent form against each other.
Fred was selected by Solskjaer as a starter in United's last two matches.
Nuno Espirito Santo's men have won five of their seven matches at Molineux this year, and beat second-placed Liverpool in the third round.
After last weekend's defeat to Arsenal, Fred and his colleagues understand the need to quickly rediscover the Reds' mojo.
"It’s really important," he says. "This is a club that lives to win trophies, it’s a huge club. So there’s the FA Cup, we’re still in the Champions League too. We’re going to do our best to bring home the cup. We can do it, we’ve got a real chance. So we’ll do our best, and that starts with the games against Wolves. We’ve got to give it our all to get to the final and bring home the cup."
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