Eric Bailly in training this week.

Bailly thankful for United's show of faith

Eric Bailly is determined to repay Manchester United's faith in his abilities after extending his contract at the club.

The 25-year-old has returned from a knee operation and was an unused substitute for the games against Liverpool, Burnley and Tranmere Rovers.

Eric also had a run-out in the Under-23s against Newcastle United recently and is looking forward to showing his best form again.

“Through all the tough times I've had, the club has always shown a lot of faith in me,” he told MUTV. “And, as part of that show of confidence, they have given me this contract extension.

“So I need to be thankful for the confidence that they have shown in me, thankful and ready to give my best when I return to the team, to show them that I am completely behind the team, and, hopefully, to go on to lift some silverware in the future.

“There are still a lot of matches to be played. We're still in all the different cups - the FA Cup, League Cup and the Europa League, as well as continuing to work in the Premier League. We're going to keep on it in training and stay united as a team, right through to the end of the season.”

Bailly feels he is fit to play, although he was not risked on Tranmere's difficult pitch at the weekend, and he could be involved in the Manchester derby tonight, in the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg.

“I've always remained motivated, equally at my best, as well as in my worst moments of injury,” he added. “I had some difficult times last year but, once those times have passed, they are the past, and it's time to make the most of these opportunities now presenting themselves.

“I'm fit and well, I'm back training with the team, building confidence for my return. This is going to be a very important year.

“Given those conditions [at Tranmere], it wouldn't have been the right pitch for a player returning from a long-term injury to start his returning match on such a surface.

“But I was happy to be with the team, to see them win the game, and that's my focus, to prepare for the day when I'm back playing with them.”

Video
Eric Bailly awaits a set-piece in the Under-23s against Newcastle.
Did you see Eric Bailly's overhead kick in the Under-23s?

The Ivory Coast international was unlucky not to score in his comeback game for the Under-23s, with an acrobatic overhead kick, and he hopes to follow fellow defenders Harry Maguire and Diogo Dalot's lead by finding the net in the first team again soon.

“Well, that was just one moment of the match, a detail,” he said. “But the most important thing was to finish the [Newcastle] match in full fitness, and that was my focus.

“Harry and Diogo's goals will also help by building up confidence among the defenders, as well as the whole team, but that will also be a big help to me in reaching my goal of returning.” 

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