Exclusive: Need to close the gap with Man City and Liverpool, says Man United’s legend Andy Cole

Manchester United remains the most successful English Premier League (EPL) team, having won the elite championship for most times (20). Nonetheless, they have struggled to move past the Sir Alex Ferguson era and have been a pale shadow of themselves, especially in the last few seasons.

In the last EPL season, Man United brought back Cristiano Ronaldo and assembled a star-studded line-up, however, still finished sixth and missed out on champions league football for 2022-23. With the upcoming edition to kick off soon, the new manager Erik ten Hag has a lot riding on his shoulders to turn the fortunes of the premier club. On Tuesday (July 12), Ronaldo-less United locked horns with Liverpool in what was an exhibition football match, held at the Rajamangala National Stadium in Bangkok. 

Amid all this, Wion’s Sports Editor Digvijay Singh Deo caught hold of Andy Cole — one of the all-time greats of EPL and Man United legend — ahead of the friendly encounter between the Red Devils and Liverpool. The two spoke on what needs to be done for the most successful team to get back to its usual standards.

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Cole — who is the third-highest goal-scorer of all-time (187) in Premier League history — ended with 121 goals in 275 appearances for United. He was part of the team’s treble-winning season, where he formed a lethal partnership with Dwight Yorke. Thus, the 50-year-old said, “There is always pressure on Man United manager. Man United needs to close the gap with man City and Liverpool. Last season was disappointing. But now, there is a new manager, new ideas and, hence, players need to look forward to progressing ahead. It’s crazy we thinking like that cause first we used to look at winning, however, now we look to qualifying (for the champions league).

Man United finished sixth in the 2021/22 season and, thus, missed out on champions league football for 2022-23. Cole — who has won a solitary CL title and five league titles with the Red Devils — wants the forthcoming EPL season to be ‘about progression of the club’ and has his ‘fingers crossed’ for the same along with several other ardent fans of the Harry Maguire-led line-up. 

Talking about the friendly tie between United and Liverpool, the former romped past their opposition in 4-0 with Jadon Sancho, Fred, Anthony Martial and Facundo Pellistri being the goal-scorers.

United will now begin their campaign in the upcoming EPL season against Brighton on August 7. How far will the Red Devils go in EPL 2022/23 season? Only time will tell…

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