By Russell Dillon
Manchester United U21s kick off their defence of the Manchester Senior Cup at home against Bury on Thursday evening. Warren Joyce’s side will want to ensure a positive start to the cup campaign as they look to bounce back from the defeat in the friendly against Stalybridge Celtic last week.
Last season, Manchester United’s Reserves ran out treble winners in a fantastic campaign. It was a team brimming with talent but a few departures this summer has brought a new, fresh look to the side. Despite this, we have started this year off in fine form so far.
The league campaign has begun positively with two wins from the opening two games against Tottenham Hotspur and Stoke. However, since then Manchester United have only played one game which they lost to Stalybridge Celtic.
After a long break, the team will be itching to get back to playing and a few more players will be available for the game against Bury.
Players such as Robbie Brady and Joshua King have returned from international duty and they had exceptional debuts for their respective countries, which is something they can both be proud of.
Robbie Brady scored a wonder goal as well as getting an assist in his debut against Oman, whilst Joshua King made an immediate impact for Norway coming on as a substitute. He had a goal disallowed and he also hit the bar with a thunderous strike from distance.
Although Joshua King has spoken of his desire to leave if he is unable to break into the first team, he will have to continue to perform to a high standard if he wishes to remain in the Norway squad. Not that his motivation is in question, it isn’t, however one would hope this extra motivation would spur him on to take his game to an even higher level.
It will be interesting to see which side Warren Joyce puts out against Bury, as he has many options available to him. Two players not available are the Keane Brothers. Will Keane is a long term absentee, after he was injured whilst playing for England U19s during the summer.
Although this is a big loss, as Keane is a player of great potential, Warren Joyce has plenty of options in attack. Will’s brother Michael is unavailable for this game, as he is with the first team squad for the Champions League tie against Galatasaray.
With such an array of talent within this U21 squad, the game on Thursday promises to be a spectacle and hopefully Manchester United can return to winning ways.