League Cup at Old Trafford and opportunity awaits

I wanted to post after Sunday but I didn't want to get carried away and now it's Thursday, I can't. I can't because it was one match, new manager bounce almost certainly at play and meant in the nicest possible way, it's not the Manchester United of Sir Alex Ferguson.

But tonight is an interesting match because we have to play them again and what happens if we do the same?

But it's at Old Trafford, so if we don't beat them like we did at the weekend that could be the reason. That I'm writing we should be beating Manchester United is a demonstration of the optimism a new manager brings. But why can't we beat them tonight?

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate they are a bigger club than we are, but they're only eight points ahead of us in the League. Eight points is something that can be turned around very quickly and we've seen it many times. They're also not to be feared as they once were and while because of their size they do have greater spending power, the very best players don't want to play Europa League football.

Players are important but when you are in the position that Manchester United are in, it comes down to the manager and I'm not convinced they've found the right one yet. It took Liverpool a generation to win the league again and I suspect it might take Manchester United as long, if not longer and Liverpool winning it, very much came down to the manager.

And there is something magical about cup competitions. For a side like us and arguably Manchester United these days, it's our only hope of silverware, so it's fair to assume both sides are going to take it seriously. That said, Manchester United will believe they have a chance of finishing in the top four and while that isn't winning silverware, it does mean they will be able to get better players.

So while I fully expect us to play our strongest side tonight because we know this manager likes cup competitions and it is one of only two chances we have of winning silverware, there is a chance that Manchester United will think they have bigger fish to fry. So, there is more room for optimism going in to tonight.

Me, I'll be logging off for a few hours now while the day job takes over but I will be in a sports bar later eating very hot chicken wings, drinking very expensive lager on draught. Until then, stay safe.