Eriksen: We know we can be better

Friday 25 August 2023 07:00

Christian Eriksen was outstanding in our two Premier League wins over Nottingham Forest last season.

Manchester United's no.14 teed up Marcus Rashford's goal at Old Trafford with as clever a corner as you could wish to see, one from straight off the training ground undoing the visitors in a 3-0 triumph just after Christmas.

In the away game, Eriksen was not scheduled to start but an injury to Marcel Sabitzer in the warm-up allowed the Denmark international to pull the strings in a 2-0 away triumph at The City Ground in April.

We also beat Forest home and away in the Carabao Cup semi-finals, en route to lifting the trophy, and Eriksen hopes the Reds can get back on track by collecting three points on Saturday, following the disappointing defeat at his former club Tottenham last weekend.

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In an exclusive interview with United Review, the official matchday programme, Eriksen admitted it has not been the best opening to the campaign, despite getting three points on the board against Wolverhampton Wanderers, but the players are taking responsibility for turning things around.

"I think we are not in the place we wanted to be result-wise," he conceded. "Obviously, it's just the start of the season. The only positive is we started better than last season, a few more points than last season [when we lost our opening two fixtures to Brighton & Hove Albion and Brentford]. But I think we all know that we can and we want to be a lot better.

"I mean it's difficult, you can always look back [to what happened at the start of last term] but, in the end, you're going to do what you can and that is in the present. And we will have to work a lot to change and get a better feeling than what we had a few days ago [at Spurs]."

The chance to impress against Forest once more could come along for Eriksen, with the midfielder one of the leading candidates to replace Mason Mount, who has unfortunately picked up an injury early into his United career.

Christian has good memories of the last league meeting with Steve Cooper's men and the circumstances around it, as he was thrust into the XI and responded with a masterful display in the engine room.

"I wasn’t supposed to start the game," he said. "I think it was Marcel [Sabitzer] who got injured in the warm-up and then I came on and [had to get] changed. But, no, it was a good game. It was a good result. We had pretty good control of the game at the time and it made it easy for ourselves."

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Saturday's 15:00 BST kick-off will mean a reunion with Anthony Elanga and the Forest new boy, as an Academy graduate, is certain to get a warm reception from the Old Trafford faithful.

"I'm happy for him," said Eriksen. "Of course, he was not playing and not being involved and I know how tough that is. So I’m really happy for him. I hope he can really have a big success there. He’s earned it.

"I mean he’s always training, training hard, working his everything off to try to be better. Hopefully, he can continue that at Forest."