Wayne Rooney has warned his Manchester United teammates that Derby County will be looking to cause an upset in the FA Cup clash between the two sides on Friday.
Derby are fifth in the Championship having only won three of their last 10 games but Man United are in similarly terrible form, with only two wins in their last 10.
Louis van Gaal is under huge pressure at Old Trafford and a loss against Derby could spell the end of his tenure. Rooney believes Derby will have nothing to lose against United.
“I’m sure they will be really up for it with their crowd and we will be up for it as we’ve experienced these games,” Rooney said.
“The players who joined us last year and played against Cambridge and Yeovil will have seen that an FA Cup tie like this is more of a battle than a football game. We have to be ready for that and be ready for a tough game as the cup is full of surprises.
“Derby have nothing to lose. No-one is expecting them to win and they will try to cause an upset.
“We know that and have to be ready for that. It will be a difficult night for us, Sheffield United at home was a tough game, so we have to be ready to battle and win the battle. Hopefully then our qualities will show through.”
Sheffield United gave United a tough test at Old Trafford in the last round of the competition and van Gaal’s side scraped through by the skin of their teeth.
It would be a difficult game against Derby in normal circumstances but United will have to contend with the extra pressure put on them amid the current turmoil at the club. Van Gaal’s side need a comfortable win and a good performance but it’s hard to imagine that happening.