Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley says beating Sunderland and reaching the Capital One Cup final would give the Red Devils a big lift.
David Moyes’ men are enduring a difficult season, languishing in seventh place in the Premier League 14 points behind league leader Arsenal and having already been knocked out of the FA Cup.
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United goes into the semifinal second leg trailing 2-1 and on the back of a 3-1 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. However, Cleverley says Wednesday’s game is a must-win for the reigning champion as he eyes his first Wembley final as a Manchester United player.
“It would give us all a big lift,” he told the club’s official website. “We might be going through a bad patch but it’s a semifinal of a cup competition and we’ve got to win it. I think it will be a great atmosphere and it’s a chance for us to get to Wembley for a cup final which, from a personal perspective, is something I’ve never been involved in.
“Getting a result on Wednesday gives us a chance to go on to win some silverware and that’s what this club is all about.”
A Ryan Giggs own goal and a Fabio Borini penalty ensure the Black Cats have the advantage and Cleverley has urged his team to start the game strongly.
“They will probably try to sit tight and defend the lead,” he added. “They’ve got some players who can hurt us though and we need to be aware of them on the counterattack.
“We’ve got to be patient if we can’t break them down, but I think it’s a night for us to really come flying out of the blocks and start the game well. It’s a night for a really high tempo in our play. The crowd will be important - we know how much it would mean to the fans to go to Wembley and we’re all determined to get there.”
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