Man United hero Fellaini switches focus to Premier League

AFP , Friday 30 Nov 2018

Manchester United's Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini leaves the pitch following the UEFA Champions League group H football match between Manchester United and Young Boys at Old Trafford in Manchester, north-west England on November 27, 2018 AFP

Marouane Fellaini said the mood in the Manchester United camp is upbeat despite their recent struggles after he scored a late winner to secure qualification for the Champions League knockouts.

Jose Mourinho's team toiled against Swiss side Young Boys on Tuesday and looked to be heading for a second successive 0-0 draw before Fellaini saved their blushes in stoppage time to secure a 1-0 win.

Victory propelled them into the round of 16 with a match to spare after next month's opponents Valencia lost at Juventus in the other Group H match.

"I think the mood is good," Fellaini said. "The players are happy but the most important thing now is to focus on Saturday and three points.

"It's always difficult to come back from the national team. Now we have a full week of training. All the players are ready to compete and start Saturday.

"Criticism is part of football but we have to work. We are a team, we are together, and give everything too. Together we have to move forward and take the points."

United, who travel to Southampton on Saturday, are languishing in seventh place in the Premier League, seven points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, and are desperate to close that gap.

Defender Chris Smalling suggested a lack of confidence played its part on Tuesday.

"We played well against them away but we knew that at home they were going to be hard to break down," he said of a side United managed to beat 3-0 in Switzerland.

"I think we created a lot of chances and it was deserved but they made us work for that.

"We created some good chances -- not just half chances -- and I think heads can dip when a few of those don't go in."

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

Short link: