Casemiro: We're going to give everything

Sunday 03 March 2024 09:00

Manchester United midfielder Casemiro has explained how he perceives the importance of matches against close rivals, and how crucial the fans are to success in such games.

Casemiro and co make the short journey across Manchester to the Etihad Stadium this afternoon to take on City (15:30 GMT kick-off) and, while the rivalry between the two clubs is always fierce, a victory here would go some way to boosting the Reds' chances of a top-four finish.

The Brazilian midfielder has been speaking ahead of the derby, and has made clear that he will relish the upcoming opportunity to compete in the fixture again.

"They're the games where you notice the fans want the game. The players want the game. The club want the game," he said.

"I think they're games and days that are meant to be enjoyed. That's how I feel. They're beautiful games."

While it is clearly a huge fixture, there is no sense that the occasion will get the better of the highly experienced professional.

He said: "Well, you get used to it, you know? In the end, when you play so many matches. In the end, despite being a derby and an important game for us, we know that at the end of the day every game is important.

"We know that in order to win, if we win that match it'll boost the team morale and the club morale, especially considering how important it would be for the end of the season. But we have to face every match like a final, as if they were all important matches. So I think this is another important match for us."

The Reds are likely to step into a charged environment this Sunday, as is to be expected when visiting your closest rivals, and our no.18 believes we can use this to our advantage.

"They're moments that always excite players," he said. "They're moments that help a player's self-esteem. They're like that. It's high-level players who keep you at your best. So they're games where you feel that euphoria both on and off the pitch, they make players feel alive.

"Those are the beautiful things about football that help players' self-esteem."

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Having played a decisive role in our FA Cup win at Nottingham Forest on Wednesday, with his late match-winning goal, Casemiro will be hoping he can make an impact once more this time around.

The midfielder celebrated that moment in front of our travelling fans, who were in fine voice throughout the contest at The City Ground, and he believes that our away contingent will have a role to play again this afternoon.

"The thing I like the most about playing here, going back to the previous question, is our fans on the road. The way they support us, how they help us, how they're with us. It's the most beautiful thing."

"I'd ask the people who travel to the match to support us and believe in us, because we know it's going to a very intense, very difficult game.

"But I want the fans to believe in us, because we're going to give everything on the pitch.

"Victory is very important, not only for the fans but for us as well, especially considering the squad's morale ahead of the remainder of the season."

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Be sure to tune into our Matchday Live show via MUTV, and the United App from 14:25 GMT, for exclusive pre-match build-up to the derby.