Diogo Dalot: We needed a response after the Manchester derby

Manchester United defender says the three points was all that mattered against Cypriot minnows Omonia Nicosia

Manchester United defender Diogo Dalot, right, embraces teammate Anthony at the end f the Europa League match against Omonia Nicosia. AFP
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We spoke to Manchester United and Portugal defender Diogo Dalot following Manchester United’s 3-2 Europa League win against Omonia Nicosia in Cyprus.

How has this week been for you after Sunday’s 6-3 Manchester derby defeat?

After a defeat like that it is always tough, but it is time to take responsibility and especially improve in some aspects which we should for the rest of the season. We had a lot of challenges today and we needed a response. The three points is what we came for and we are happy with that.

The result was most important for the Europa League group, but performance wise were you happy with that?

There were some really good bits. Overall we could have controlled the game much more than we did, especially in the last minutes and also in the minutes after we conceded, but we did a really good 35 minutes in the first half, really controlled, very good chances to score as well, but the second half we came with the mentality of trying to come back with no panic, no rush and trying to do what we had planned for today. I have to mention the subs, they made a really good impact which is amazing for us as a team and I am really happy with that. They deserve it as well. It shows that every player wants to play, to show that they have a good role in this team so overall I think there are some really good positive things to take but also some things that really need to get better.

This season there has been some good moments and some not so good moments. Do you think because it’s a new manager with a new squad that maybe the whole season is going to be like that with ups and downs and you have to work through that process?

We want to be consistent. Obviously at the beginning of the season we were like this with ups and downs but we try to be as consistent as we can. We knew that we had very good results before the City game but the defeat meant we knew that needed a reaction and I think we did that. We could have done a little bit more but in the end I think we should be happy with what we did because there were some very good bits in the game.

Bruno Fernandes was talking before the game saying that you shouldn’t let the City result deflect from the progress that you’ve made. Is that the way that you and the rest of the squad see it?

Yes, this was the mentality in these days after the defeat. This result didn’t show everything we have been doing isn’t right and everything is not always correct. We have to find our balance as a team. We have to find consistency and that comes with results and with confidence. Today we had a positive result. We wanted these three points. We knew this could be a tough day if we didn’t come with the right attitude. We started well, 35 good minutes. After we conceded the goal we could have done a little bit better. But we reacted well and did a come back.

Is more changing behind the scenes than fans are seeing on the pitch? Do you see rewards in the medium/long term?

I hope so. This is what we all hope for. We want to build a squad - not just 11, 12, 13 players. We had some games - not just today, in the past - where I remember the players who came on really made a big impact and I think this shows that we can have a long-term thing that we want to build - a very good squad and team that will be competing. That’s what this club wants. Overall we want to bring a proper squad to fight for titles.

Your manager said there was a lack of belief among players - did that hurt the players because it’s a trait you should have?

It did not hurt. I think this should be the standard of this club. If you play for Man United you to believe every single game. You have to have confidence as well but you have to take the responsibility that you’re playing for the biggest club in the world. This has to be normal for us but in a good way - not be overwhelmed but take it as a responsibility and this has to be the standard for every player not just the fans because they always demand everything but for us as well we have to demand.

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Updated: October 07, 2022, 6:22 PM