Tuanzebe: Our team spirit is strong
Axel Tuanzebe praised the togetherness within United's squad, following our 4-0 win against AZ...
Q: It took a while to get going, but when it did, it was great stuff in the second half… AT: Yeah, I think the manager had a good half-time team-talk. We came out more positive and more willing to get a result and that’s what these games are about: grinding through and getting the result and proceeding to the knockouts. Q: Mason again showed what a finisher he is. Is that just natural talent? AT: He’s been gifted, hasn’t he? Left foot, right foot, but he did his job for the team, which is the most important thing. We got the win and now we’re through to the next round. Q: When you’re looking at the team tonight and you’ve got Garner, Brandon Williams and Mason, does it show you how useful this competition is in terms of playing young footballers, but playing them in first-team football? AT: Yeah, most importantly, it’s an opportunity for the young lads to get the minutes in. Obviously, they’re showcasing that they’re good enough to play at this level, which is not an easy level. The knockouts will be much more aggressive teams and we’re looking forward to matching them player-for-player in these competitions. Q: It wasn’t just about the young lads – Ashley Young and Juan Mata got their first goals of the season… AT: It’s good to see. I think the team spirit has been really positive this week. Coming off the back of the results last week, and beating City, it’s been really positive and we just want to keep that winning momentum. Q: Did you enjoy it tonight playing alongside Harry and with Romero, who keeps clean sheet after clean sheet? How important was it for you boys not to concede tonight? AT: It’s always important not to concede and to keep that backline solid. We’re happy to get the win and to get the clean sheet makes it that much sweeter. Q: When you look at the nine changes tonight and you get a 4-0 victory, coming after the win at City - there’s another game coming up and the competition for places must be a great thing? AT: Most definitely, every week in training it’s showing and everyone is pushing each other to reach another level. As a squad, we want to develop and showcase that we’re good enough to be competing. It’s been a difficult start but we’re picking up and getting momentum and that’s what we want to continue doing. Q: Into the last 32 of this competition, the second leg will be at home. How important is this competition going to be, considering we know from a few years ago that a Champions League place is up for grabs? AT: Exactly, that’s where we want to be. We want to be competing against the best teams in the world and this is the process in doing so. It’s another pathway of getting back to the Champions League and we want to do the best that we can. Q: Game after game, after game - on Sunday it’s the Premier League, then the League Cup next week and the games over Christmas. There’s going to be games for everyone, I guess? AT: Yeah, most definitely. That’s what it’s about, having everyone involved and playing a part in helping the team develop and get results. The Christmas period is always difficult with so many games, so rotation is a must. So, yeah, it’s a great opportunity for people to showcase their talent.