United Briefing: What is Dean Henderson's dream?
Dean Henderson wants to ‘paint the city Red’ by helping United to beat Manchester City in tonight’s Carabao Cup semi-final.
The young goalkeeper, who has appeared in all three of our games in the competition this season, without conceding a goal, acknowledged the enormity of the encounter and the need to defeat our crosstown rivals, having faced them many times before at youth level.
However, Henderson knows that coming up against Pep Guardiola and his senior side of Manchester City stars, on the back of their impressive performance in beating Chelsea at the weekend, is a world away from youth-team derbies.
“Listen, it’s a completely different ball game from Academy level to first team, so this one will mean a lot,” Dean told us.
“But obviously the vibe will be massive throughout the city.
Ole's pre-City press conferenceVideo
“The city is mostly red, and we need to paint it red. But we’re getting better all the time, so hopefully we can get a good result.
“One team has got to win it, so I think both teams will go for it. We’ll probably take the game to them and have a go, and see what comes off.”
City have won the competition in the last three seasons and haven't lost a Carabao Cup tie since October 2016 – when a Juan Mata strike was enough to settle a fourth-round derby at Old Trafford in United's favour.
Despite growing up in Cumbria, Henderson is well-versed on how much the rivalry means to the club and its fans, and the England international would like nothing more than to bring the Blues’ run to an end.
“It’d be fantastic,” enthused Henderson.
“I know a few Man City fans from when I was growing up, and obviously there was rivalry between us, even at school and things like that.
“To beat them and to be involved in it would be a dream come true.
“They’re the sort of things you think about as a young kid. It’d be amazing, and something I’m really looking forward to.”
Wednesday’s match will mark United’s fourth semi-final in 12 months, but the club haven’t reached a final since 2018, with last-four losses to Manchester City, Chelsea and Sevilla in 2019/20 still fresh in the memory.
So, how big a boost would booking a final place against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley in April, when hopefully some fans can attend, be for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his side?
“Massive,” Dean responded.
“The club’s built on silverware.
“We need to win trophies and obviously we’re improving and evolving on the pitch, but no one cares unless we win trophies. So we need to put that to the forefront of our minds, and we need to find a way to do that.
“Whether it’s the Carabao Cup, the Premier League or the Europa League or the FA Cup, we need to turn these good performances into silverware.”
WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY?
Haven’t you heard? It’s the talk of the town: United face City at Old Trafford in a one-legged semi to decide who makes it through to the Carabao Cup final.
As is usual on a matchday, we’ll have an exclusive Ole Gunnar Solskjaer preview, in which he explains just why Eric Bailly is so popular with his fellow team-mates.
United Daily: Ole and Bailly preview CityVideo
WHAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY?
We brought you fresh images from the Aon Training Complex, as well as a glimpse of first-team coach and returning Reds legend Darren Fletcher in his new role.
The latest UTD Podcast, featuring former winger Mickey Thomas, is also available to listen to now.