Mike Phelan Wants Manchester United's Next Generation to Win 'Everything'

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistFebruary 7, 2019

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 03:  Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Interim Manager of Manchester United celebrates victory following the Premier League match between Leicester City and Manchester United at The King Power Stadium on February 3, 2019 in Leicester, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Manchester United assistant coach Mike Phelan called on the young players at Old Trafford to carry on improving and recapture the club's glory days, adding that he wants them to win "everything."

Phelan was Sir Alex Ferguson's most trusted adviser behind the scenes at Carrington, and the 56-year-old has declared United's squad is good enough to achieve major success.

Speaking ahead of United's visit to Fulham in the Premier League on Saturday, Phelan explained his outlook and philosophy alongside interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, per David McDonnell of the Mirror:

"Our aim is to try and do even better, to try and push the players even further. I've experienced a lot of things at Manchester United and I want this next generation of players to do the same. They've won some things, but they haven't won everything—and I want them to win everything. Why shouldn't we? You've got to be greedy in this game and to keep pushing. What they're here for, surely, is to be better players, better individuals and to win something for the club and themselves."

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - JANUARY 02:  Mike Phelan the assistant head coach / manager of Manchester United prior to the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester United at St. James Park on January 2, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, U
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

The tone emitted from Phelan is completely different from former manager Jose Mourinho, who cut a dour figure during his final months at Old Trafford.

This has translated to the squad, with United winning nine out of 10 in all competitions since last December.

Mourinho failed to get consistency from his brightest players, with Paul Pogba, Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku all suffering during his tenure.

Tim Ireland/Associated Press

Solskjaer has turned to the youthful exuberance of Marcus Rashford, 21, and Anthony Martial, 23, to lead the attack, and the Red Devils have quickly turned themselves back into a potent threat not seen at the Theatre of Dreams for a number of years.

Meanwhile, Jesse Lingard, 26, is flourishing, and Pogba, 25, looks back to near his best. 

Phelan added the current managerial team are looking to the future, and that they trust the young talent at their disposal:

"Players are talented here because they're here for a reason. It's then up to them to embrace Manchester United, the ethos, and everything around it. That's the reason why they're here. Ability shouldn't be an issue —they shouldn't get through the door if they haven't got the ability, so what is important is that we make sure we only bring in that quality and personality, that charismatic sort that can enhance what is already here. That's a major responsibility. Winning is there, it's got to be—the size of the football club demands that. We're trying to build something."

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 28: Anthony Martial celebrates with teammates Nemanja Matic, Marcus Rashford and Juan Mata after scoring his team's second goal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Everton FC at Old Trafford on Octob
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

The urgency and optimism has returned to United since the turn of the year. The spirit of Ferguson's team appears to have risen from the ashes.

Solskjaer has proved Mourinho should have done much better with the players in his squad, and the former United playing legend has embraced the fabric of the football club.

United fans demand their team contends for silverware, but more than that, they insist their starting XI fights with gusto and provides maximum effort.

The entertainment factor required dates back to the legendary Busby Babes. That tradition was carried forward by Eric Cantona and the club's youth products who won every major trophy.

However, United are only one defeat away from having their bubble burst. Fulham are desperate for wins, and the Red Devils recently dropped points to Burnley at home.

Solskjaer's men are just two points outside the top four in the Premier League, and an unlikely finish in the UEFA Champions League places is within their grasp after a turbulent campaign.  


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