Friday briefing: Maguire rallies the troops
Manchester United skipper Harry Maguire credits 'great team spirit' for the Reds' brilliant recent run on the road.
United notched an eighth consecutive league away win at Southampton last weekend and are looking to add another three points when we travel to West Ham on Sunday.
It hasn't been all plain sailing in that run - Maguire says the squad's character has had to come to the fore on several occasions - but our no.5 says the lads go to the London Stadium confident of a first win there since January 2017.
“It’s an amazing away run we’ve been on. Our home form hasn’t been good enough, like I’ve said, but our away form has been really good. We’ve shown great spirit,” Maguire told us.
“We’ve been losing in all four away matches [we have won this season], which is an incredible stat. It shows the spirit and the character in the group. We never give in and always fight to the end and we’ve scored some late winners.
“Our confidence is high, even after a defeat [on Wednesday, to PSG], where we felt like the performance was there but the game was decided on fine margins.
“We’re confident, we know it’s going to be a tough game but we go there trying to get the three points.”
Another club landmark could topple if United do get the job done, with no Reds side having won their opening five away league games of a season since Ron Atkinson's 1985/86 side.
Maguire added that he didn't want to dwell on potential records and issued a reminder that, while our form away from Old Trafford has been excellent, results in M16 leave plenty of room for improvement.
“Every game we play , we have a great incentive to go and win. I don’t really look into the stats and figures.
“I don’t want to jinx anything, I just want to get the three points and that’ll be the focus come Saturday.
“Like I said the home form hasn’t been great and we need to improve on that but now it’s another game where we try and get three points and that’s what we’ll look at it as.”
PRESS CONFERENCE PLANS
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will field questions from the media as he prepares for Saturday's teatime clash at West Ham United.
This will take place at 13:00 GMT today and be broadcast half an hour later, with more quotes to be released around 22:30 GMT on Friday night. So look out for the manager providing the latest news ahead of the journey to the capital.
The press conference will be streamed on ManUtd.com and the Official App from 13:30 GMT.
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WHAT'S HAPPENING TODAY?
The main focus will be on Ole's chat with club media and the aforementioned press conference but it promises to be a busy day elsewhere for United.
We expect to be hearing from Bruno Fernandes as he prepares to tackle the Hammers and extend his brilliant personal record on the road in the Premier League. Our latest Player of the Month is set to collect his trophy, following his excellent efforts in November.
Later, MUTV are showing the Under-23s' Premier League 2 clash with Southampton at Leigh Sports Village live, with kick-off at 19:00 GMT. Best of luck to Neil Wood's side.
WHAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY?
We started the build-up to the Hammers game at the weekend by checking the early team news, with Marcus Rashford a doubt, due to a shoulder problem, but Axel Tuanzebe available again after his Champions League suspension.
Cristiano Ronaldo thanked United for our part in his success as he racked up his 750th career goal, in the latest European win for Juventus.
The club issued a statement regarding our policy on antisemitism as part of our All Red All Equal campaign. Later, executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward commented on how crucial fans are to the fabric of the beautiful game.