Pellistri: My first start was emotional
Manchester United winger Facundo Pellistri explains that the Reds’ focus quickly switched to today’s FA Cup quarter-final after the Europa League last-16 triumph over Real Betis on Thursday.
The midweek outing in Spain was one that he and his United team-mates have quickly turned the page on, says Pellistri, as we look to progress in another cup competition with victory over Fulham this afternoon.
Despite that, the 1-0 win in Spain, which secured a 5-1 success on aggregate to set up a last-eight tie with Sevilla in the European tournament, was an outing that will live long in the young winger’s memory as his first senior United start.
“It was a very emotional moment for me and my family,” Facundo told club media, in an exclusive interview.
“I have been working a lot to achieve this moment and I’m really proud, and also really happy because it was a win. That was very important also.”
Our no.28 told us that he was asked to simply continue what he's been doing well, but this time from the off, ahead of Thursday's game.
“The message from the boss and also my team-mates was to do what I know to do on the pitch, what I’ve been doing in training," Pellistri added.
“That’s why I am playing because of all the work I do in training, that was the message. If you do well in training, then you are ready to play so that’s why I was confident, and the coach and everyone gave me that confidence.
“He told me to run in behind, to have the ball, to take care of the ball and to track back to defend.
“More or less, that’s what I tried to do and as I already said, the win is the most important [thing].”
With that appearance fresh in the memory, Facundo is now keen to help United progress on another front – the FA Cup.
A stern test against fellow Premier League side Fulham awaits United in the quarter-finals, and its one that Pellistri says everyone has been focused on ever since the second-leg victory over Real Betis.
“As soon as the match against Betis was ended, we started thinking about Fulham because it’s the next game and we really want to continue in every cup.
“The whole staff, the group, we are really focused on every match, every game, because we are in every competition and we want to win every title.
“We are really happy with winning against Betis, we are looking forward to playing against Sevilla, but now we are focused on the next cup and that is the way we work.”