Victor Lindelof has challenged his Manchester United team-mates to remain unbeaten at home for the rest of the season and to transform Old Trafford into a fortress.
The home of United is not the same challenging arena it what was for visiting clubs during the trophy-laden Sir Alex Ferguson era, but Lindelof wants that all to change.
The Sweden international senses that things are changing with the Red Devils under Erik ten Hag. That has certainly been evidenced in wins over fellow ‘Big Six’ clubs Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham at Old Trafford this term.
In the absence of the injured Raphael Varane, Lindelof is set to partner Lisandro Martinez at centre-back again for Sunday’s visit of West Ham.
And, ahead of the game, Lindelof said: “Whenever we play at home we want to play good football, perform and have the support of the fans.
“Of course it’s important to get the wins at home as well, as we have been doing. If we can keep on performing the way we have been we can produce good football and hopefully stay unbeaten at Old Trafford. That is important.”
Casemiro playing key role in United resurgence
A key player in the club’s recent good run of form has been Brazilian Casemiro.
The former Real Madrid man has added more steel to United‘s midfield, and Lindelof is clearly impressed.
The Swede added: “He’s a fantastic player and a great person as well. He has lots of qualities – his mentality, the way he wants to play football. The way he is always fighting, always helping his team-mates.
“Since he has arrived here he has been working really hard on his role in the team. He wins the ball, he can keep it, he can produce good passes and it’s nice to have him in front of the defensive line because he’s such a clever player. He knows how to read the game well and then there is his mentality.
“It’s not just about winning games, it’s the way he trains every day giving 100 percent. He sets the standards, keeps the tempo high, he’s the one who keeps all that going. In the gym you see him working hard. He’s a role model for the younger players. You only get better by having players capable of coming in and helping the team.”
Ten Hag keeping standards high
Lindelof also believes Ten Hag will not allow United’s standards to drop, as they try to secure a top-four spot this season.
He added: “The manager has told us to believe in ourselves. To stay on the ball, play good football at a high tempo and run a lot
“Obviously confidence is going up because of the results and we have to keep that going. His standards are very high.”
Any lapses in the demanding work ethic are also not tolerated, with Lindelof adding: “Yes. And that’s the way it should be.
“At a club like this you have to be performing. And if you don’t do that we all know another player is ready to come in.”
Lindelof’s chance to shine came at the expense of Varane, who is ruled out until after the World Cup.
And the 28-year-old added: “I had a great pre-season playing a lot of games but unfortunately three days before the start of the season I got injured so that was tough for me. I just had to stay focused, do a good rehab and be ready when I was fit again.”