Tuesday 3 January 2017

United are back and a good year beckons in 2017

United got 2017 off to a winning start as the momentum built during our winning run continued unabated at West Ham.

It was a sixth league win in a row and a seventh in all competitions to extend our unbeaten run to 13 games, the best such run by a United team since the retirement of Sir Alex.

It wasn't our best performance of the season in east London but we got the job done to pick up another win and, despite still sitting sixth, closed the gap on the top four sides to a solitary point. 

Attention now turns to the home FA Cup third round tie with Reading - managed by former United legend Jaap Stam - and then the first leg of the EFL Cup semi-final with Hull City. 

These two matches will offer a welcome respite from the hectic schedule of testing league fixtures and provide Jose with the chance to give some of the players a much needed rest.

Many of them have played non-stop throughout the festive fixture programme and, with Liverpool looming in a massive league match next weekend, how Jose utilises his squad will be key to keeping this momentum going. 

35 year old Zlatan Ibrahimovic has played every minute of all but one match this season and fellow veteran Michael Carrick is not far behind (although he was rested against Middlesbrough). 

That match with Jurgen Klopp's in-form outfit looks to be of increasing importance as a win would move United to within two points of the second-placed Anfield side.

We're ten points adrift of the leaders Chelsea - who also have a game in hand - so we've surely left a title challenge too late, but there's no reason why we can't aim for a top two finish.

Manchester City are inconsistent, Liverpool are the league's top scorers but concede aplenty and Arsenal are only one point ahead of us. 

The team have re-discovered a winning mentality, we're brimming with confidence and belief, look a settled and cohesive unit and possess arguably the best team spirit in the league. 
We're also the only English team still fighting on four fronts - the three cups as well as the league - under a manager who has looked a changed man for the better in recent weeks. 

The mood in the United camp couldn't be in starker contrast to that of this time last year when United endured their worst winless sequence in years with morale at an all time low. 

The Red juggernaut rolled on at West Ham as we started the new year in the same way we ended the old one: United are back and look set to achieve big things in 2017....

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