Paul Ince Exclusive: United ‘Have To Win’ Atalanta clash
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Paul Ince Exclusive: United ‘Have To Win’ Atalanta clash

Former Manchester United star Paul Ince has spoken about the importance of his former side picking up all three points against Atalanta this evening.The Red Devils’ Champions League campaign got off to the worst possible start with a late defeat at the hands of Young Boys. But it was the turn of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men to earn a late victory in their second match, when Cristiano Ronaldo struck in the 95th minute to sink Villarreal. Group F is finely poised going into this week’s round of fixtures, with leaders Atalanta next in line to face the three-time winners.



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A Must Win Game For United

Speaking exclusively to Genting, Ince stressed that United shouldn’t take their opponents from Bergamo lightly.

He said: “Atalanta won’t be easy, they’re a good side, they play some good football and it’s a game they have to win.

“It’s a game they have to win because of the Young Boys result, a game nine times out of 10 they win. 

“It’s a game that everybody’s looking at for United to win and if they don’t, we know what’s going to happen.”

No Stranger To Italian Football

Ince is no stranger to Italian football, having spent two seasons with Inter Milan during Serie A’s nineties heyday.

And he still keeps an eye on the league he made 54 appearances in.

“It's going to be a tough game, I watch a lot of Italian football, Atalanta are very good side,” he explained.

“They’re a very hard-working side, they’ve got Duvan Zapata up top, who’s a top-class centre forward who will cause lots of problems. 

“Technically, they’re very, very good and they keep the ball well. 

“Gasperini and his teams are very structured, they’ll probably sit back and then try and use Zapata on the counterattack – balls down the side, balls over the top, he’s strong, he’s powerful and he scores goals.”

Secure Qualification As Early As Possible

United currently sit one point behind Atalanta going into tonight's game at Old Trafford and – with so many matches to fit in – Ince has stressed how important it is to secure qualification as early as possible, so Solskjaer’s can rest and rotate to keep fighting on all fronts.

“To lose the first game was damaging, it meant they had to win at Old Trafford against Villarreal and win they did, but they were very fortunate,” he said.

“Villarreal should have been two or three up at half time, but it’s all done now and it’s made the table a lot closer.

“There’s a lot of big games coming up, a lot of demanding games in the Premier League and then you’ve got those two Atalanta games slotted in the middle. 

“It’s going to be tough for United, they’re lucky they’ve got a big squad.

“Ole’s got to get his selections and his system right in all those games because all these players can’t play every game.”

United Faithful Behind Their Team

Ince – who tuned out 281 times for Manchester United between 1989 and 1995 – believes the Old Trafford faithful are fulfilling their duty as the 12th-man this season, even giving the Red Devils an extra boost to get the victory against Villarreal in their last Champions League clash.

He said: “United fans have been brilliant, they’ve been up for all the games and been right on side with the team.

“In fact, if it wasn’t for the fans against Villarreal, I think United would have lost the game.

“Sometimes people say, is it the players that get the fans going or is it the fans who get the players going?

“It was the fans who got the players going [against Villarreal] and they got the win with 

Ronaldo, but they never should have won the game, they were very, very fortunate and now they need to take advantage of that.”


STAY TUNED ALL WEEK FOR MORE EXCLUSIVE COMMENTS FROM PAUL INCE LEADING UP TO THE BIG PREMIER CLASH THIS WEEKEND BETWEEN MAN UNITED AND LIVERPOOL!



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