Bailly: Let's focus on the future
Manchester United defender Eric Bailly is only looking forward, as the Reds prepare to take on Chelsea in the Premier League.
The Ivorian could be in contention to feature at Stamford Bridge, with captain Harry Maguire serving a one-match suspension.
That could see him come up against Chelsea striker and former Red Romelu Lukaku and the Belgian was discussed in our interview with Bailly, along with Villarreal, the December fixtures and the fans...
We’ve had some good memories and results at Chelsea over recent years, and you’ve been a part of that…
“Yeah, yeah. I remember when we won 2-0 I think [in February 2020]. It was a good moment I think, it was very important to win the game and yeah I’m ready for another challenge against Chelsea. I hope the team work very hard and obviously we won against Villarreal. They are a good team and it’s a good vibe for the team.”
We don’t know if you’ll be playing but you could be up against Romelu Lukaku, your old team-mate from United…
“Yeah, it’s very, very special when you play against one team-mate, you know? Lukaku is a good, good striker, a good player and yeah, we have to stop the big guy and try to win the game.”
What was he like to play against in training because he’s a big, tough guy?
“Tough guy, strong guy, he runs quick. You know, we have some good players to try to stop him and I hope we are in good form and we’ll go to London and fight to try to win this game.”
You mentioned the Villarreal game, that means we’ve won the group and are through. How important is it to be able to put the Champions League to one side?
“This is very, very important. This competition is one of the best. Yes, now we go through first and qualify. Now we have one game against Young Boys and we hope to finish well and think about the next stop.”
Lots of games in December. Do you like that, having game after game?
“I like that a lot because you know, this is England. You know, [we usually play on] Boxing Day and you need to be prepared, focused and train. You need to [take] your chance in a tough moment.”
It’s been a tough few days, or even weeks, for United. How have you found that?
“Yeah, very difficult. You know, we lost important games but that is the past. Now for me, it’s very important to focus on the future. The future is Sunday and we had a good week, Tuesday against Villarreal, we have a good game. Sunday, we have to keep thinking in the future and give back this good feeling and good vibe for the fans. Win the game and take points: it’s very important.”
The fans were in great voice in Villarreal…
“Yes, very good. Very good. We have one of the best [sets of] fans in the world and that’s very important, they help the team, you know?”
And finally is the team spirit good? Is everyone determined to turn things around?
“Yeah, yeah. It’s very important to improve. Always, it’s so important. That’s why you need to train strong and play strong. Now, you know, the team is ready, we’ve trained well and we have a good feeling. I help give my team-mates energy and that’s very important for us.”