'You've got to dust yourselves down'
John O’Shea is already looking ahead to the upcoming games with Tottenham Hotspur and Atletico Madrid, after Sunday’s disappointing defeat in the Manchester derby.
The 4-1 reverse at the Etihad Stadium leaves the Reds fifth in the Premier League table, a point behind Arsenal in fourth.
The Gunners have three games in hand and so Saturday’s visit of Spurs to Old Trafford takes on greater importance, while the Champions League second leg against Atleti looms large as we look to extend our involvement in Europe’s top-tier competition into April.
Two wins in those games will help improve the picture, the former Republic of Ireland international added, while hopefully some of those who missed the derby through illness and injury - Edinson Cavani, Cristiano Ronaldo, Luke Shaw and Raphael Varane were all absent - can return.
“Yeah, they’re huge, huge games,” O’Shea said, while in the MUTV studio covering Sunday’s game.
“I don’t want to say season-defining but it’s getting to that point because if you don’t get the maximum points against Tottenham, it’s really an uphill task to get into that Champions League spot.
“Obviously, the Champions League is huge for the club. Who knows what can happen if you get past Atletico?
“There are two huge games upcoming but let’s deal with Spurs first and if we can negotiate that. Hopefully, we can get a few bodies back for that as well.”
“First and foremost, it’s looking at yourself and then the team collective,” he added, when asked how the players should react to a defeat like this.
“All the lads are living in Manchester and when they’re dropping their kids of at school, all the people going into work, they’ll have to see them and get a bit of criticism.
“You’ve just got to dust yourself down and beat Tottenham and Atletico and, if you do, smiles are back on faces again.”