September 22, 2016 7:54:40 pm
Lifelong Manchester United fan and Leicester City right-back Danny Simpson says the defending champions will go for broke at Old Trafford on Saturday, underlining coach Claudio Ranieri’s philosophy. The Italian has instructed Leicester to chase victory in each and every match, home or away, according to Simpson.
“I am sure he will give us the right game-plan to try and do that,” the right back told Reuters in an interview. United ended a three-match losing streak by winning 3-1 at Northampton Town in the League Cup on Wednesday and Simpson believes that much will depend on the opening exchanges in their Premier League tussle at the weekend.
“You can look at it in different ways. They won’t want to lose again so they may be more hungry and more determined especially with them being at home,” the defender said. “If we start well they might feel the pressure from their fans or the players might not have as much confidence.”
United were beaten 3-1 at Watford last weekend, having lost 2-1 in the Premier League to neighbours Manchester City the week before and going down 1-0 at Feyenoord in the Europa League. The 29-year-old Simpson, who committed his future to Leicester by signing a new three-year deal earlier this month, is a product of United’s Academy.
“I’ve supported United for as long as I can remember,” he said. “My uncle and my friends were Reds and I followed them. I was picked up by United’s youth scouts who had seen me playing locally on Saturdays and Sundays at Deans FC, the same club where Ryan Giggs was.”
Simpson went on to spend four years as a professional at Old Trafford before being sold to Newcastle United in 2010 after a series of loan moves.
“I was fortunate enough to be playing for United as a kid and eventually got my first full professional contract and went on to make it into the first team,” he added, “I was lucky enough to play with some of my heroes. I’ll always be a Red deep down.”
United are seventh in the table with nine points from five games, four places above Leicester. Simpson knows that he and his defensive partners will need to keep a constant eye on United new boy Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
“That’s why I’ve got big Wes (Morgan) and Robert Huth next to me. I’ll just look at them and let them deal with him,” he joked, “No, he (Ibrahimovic) is a quality player and he’s scored goals everywhere he has been. It’s not just his football, it’s the aura and everything that comes with him. United have got a load of top players and we need to defend as we know we can defend.”
Leicester have a new signing of their own and Simpson said he had been impressed by record 30 million pounds ($39.16 million) buy Islam Slimani after he twice found the net against Burnley last weekend. “He has just taken it all in his stride,” said Simpson. “He’s come in with a big price tag but I don’t think he is thinking about that.
“It’s good that he knows Riyad (Mahrez) and that’s helped him a lot,” he added of Leicester’s playmaker, “To play at the King Power Stadium and score a couple of goals on your home debut, there’s just no better way to start.”
Adding to his goal tally is not the only challenge facing the Algerian striker who has a team ceremony to look forward to ahead of the 1130 GMT kickoff at United. “He’s got his initiation in the hotel before the game. We’ll get a little song out of him,” laughed Simpson.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.