Ex-Red Brown 'excited for new start'
Wes Brown sees plenty of reasons to be optimistic ahead of the start of the 2020/21 Premier League season.
United’s campaign kicks off in 11 days, with a match against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford, just over a month after the conclusion of the elongated 2019/20 term.
Our former defender is looking forward to seeing how Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men build on a positive year on the pitch so far, especially after last week’s addition of Donny van de Beek to an already talented midfield stable.
“I’m really excited. It’s a new start for us,” Wes told us prior to the Soccer Aid for Unicef match at Old Trafford on Sunday.
“We’ve brought in Donny, which is excellent, out of the blue as well. He’s a good age and it looks like he’ll fit in well with what Ole is trying to do with the players we already have. Hopefully, we'll get a couple more players in too.”
The Reds claimed more points than any Premier League side other than Manchester City (who played a game more) after Project Restart, overhauling a significant deficit to overtake Chelsea and Leicester City and claim a prized Champions League place.
Fourteen games in 58 days across the league, Emirates FA Cup and Europa League stretched Solskjaer’s side to the limit, but Wes thinks the lads should be well rested and looking to get off to a strong start next weekend.
“After lockdown, we came back excellently, we were very strong in most departments. There were a lot of games to jam in and people got tired but the lads did well.
“The end of the season was disappointing, in the fact that we got to two semis and didn’t get through, but I still think we’re moving forward. And the experiences from those two semis will help the players this season.
“I want us to have a good start, the lads have had a little bit of a rest, but we have to start strongly and throw down benchmarks early on.”
One regret from 2019/20 was finishing up without any silverware, with those semi-final defeats to Chelsea in the FA Cup and Sevilla in the Europa League still smarting.
Group Chat: Wes comes out of retirement!Video
United’s players should, however, take inspiration from the two disappointments and use them to improve when faced with similar situations next time around, according to Wes.
“Those defeats gave you a bit of a boost because, when you come to play those teams again and you’re walking out for the warm-up, you remember that maybe you got beat 2-0 the season before and how much they celebrated and that gives you a little bit more determination.
“The lads will remember those defeats and they’ll be trying to make it right this season.”