PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Eric Bailly – Defender welcomes competition for starting place

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Eric Bailly – Defender welcomes competition for starting place
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho (front left) on the bench next to assistant Rui Faria (front right), Eric Bailly (back left), Marcus Rashford (back centre)

by Graeme Jackson

Friday Apr 20, 2018. 19:00

Eric Bailly says he is ready to fight for his place in Manchester United’s starting XI, having been left out of their last two matches.

The Ivory Coast international did not feature for the Red Devils in their last two matches against West Bromwich Albion and Bournemouth, though it is expected that he will return to the line-up for the FA Cup semifinal against Tottenham Hotspur tomorrow night.

Yet in the quartet of Chris Smalling, Victor Lindelof, Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones, Bailly faces some tough competition – but this is something he fully embraces, knowing it makes the team stronger.

"It does [give the manager options]," Bailly, who spent nearly four months sidelined with injury this season, told MUTV. "It is a good position to be in, to have the defence fully fit and ready.

“It bodes well for the remaining matches ahead of us. I hope we can remain with a solid defence, as do the others, and we can keep some clean sheets in those games so that we see the season out well.

"I'm fine. I had a few difficult moments with my past injury but I am fully recovered now. I came back fitter and I hope I can take all the playing opportunities that present themselves now."

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