Manchester United U23s excited for EFL Trophy debut, says Neil Wood
By Dan Sansom
Last Updated: 06/08/19 3:28pm
Manchester United U23s manager Neil Wood says his academy players are excited to launch a new era for the club as they take on the challenge of the EFL Trophy.
Wood, and assistant Quinton Fortune, will lead the largely U21 side against League One Rotherham on Tuesday after United agreed to enter a team in the competition for the first time.
The club had previously refrained from taking part, but Wood believes the change of heart demonstrates the new direction United are taking under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Wood sees the competition as playing a key role in whether the next generation can follow the likes of 17-year-old Mason Greenwood, who has shone among the seniors in United's pre-season.
"If you look at the manager he supports the young players, he's given them the opportunities," Wood said.
"He's given them chances to get out there and play. He's bringing them on at Old Trafford and playing them in that first-team environment.
"Our job is to keep working with the young boys and push them under his nose as much as possible.
What can we expect from Man Utd?
After expensive purchases and an undefeated pre-season record, what is a realistic target for Manchester United in the Premier League this season?
"We can play as many games as you want but we can't recreate that crowd, the build-up, the pressure and nervousness before a big game.
"They have got to feel that. We want to see how they will react. They are looking forward to playing senior players in competitive games and they are excited by the challenge."