Matteo Darmian is determined to help Manchester United end a disappointing season on a high.
Louis van Gaal’s second campaign in the Old Trafford hotseat has been far from straightforward, with underwhelming displays and frustrating results leading pressure to regularly mount.
Inconsistency has wreaked havoc but United remain in the hunt for a top-four finish, while a first major trophy of the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era is in sight.
Everton will try to deny the Reds a place in the FA Cup final on Saturday and full-back Darmian is determined to make the end of his first season memorable.
“I think winning has helped us to increase our confidence, but now we have to be focused because the last games are like a final for us and after that we have to wait and see what place we are,” the Italy international said.
“I think Manchester United always play to win – to win trophies, to win the Premier League.
“But now we have to be focused on these games that remain because we want to close the season better than (we started it). ”
Darmian wants to put a smile on United fans’ faces, having seen their club’s sustained period of success followed by a barren run since 2013.
“I think not only for me but for the team and for the fans, it’s a big chance to win a trophy,” he said.
“We know also the importance of the game on Saturday against Everton – it’s a big game and now we have to prepare ourselves.
“We want to be ready for the fight because I think it will be a difficult game, but like always we want to win.
“We want to make our fans proud and try to win the trophy because Manchester United is used to winning trophies, so we have to be ready and focused.”
Darmian on ‘wounded’ Everton
Darmian is wary of wounded Everton, hammered 4-0 by rivals Liverpool on Wednesday, as he prepares to visit Wembley for the very first time.
The Italian is “really proud” to have a chance to walk out at the ground, which he heads to buoyed by a match-winning display against Crystal Palace.
Having seen his early cross turned home by Damien Delaney, the full-back then scored the best goal of his career to wrap up a 2-0 win on Wednesday.
The stunning left-footed strike was quite the way for Darmian to open his United account as his first season at Old Trafford draws to a close.
“I think for a player it is always difficult to change the culture and also to change the football because the Premier League is a little different from Serie A,” the former Torino defender said.
“It’s more physical and less tactical, all of the teams play stronger, but I try to adapt to this kind of game and this type of football.
“Yes, at the beginning my football was very good but sometimes it can happen, a period when we are not so good physically.
“But now I’m focused on the end of the season, and that’s it. I look forward to doing better.”