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Onariase previews this weekend's game

13 November 2020

Defender Emmanuel Onariase has looked ahead to Oldham Athletic away on Saturday as he continues his return to action.

The 24-year-old joined United at the start of August but has been out due to a hernia operation.

With the exception of the FA Cup encounter against Solihull Moors, he's started four out of the last five senior matches and came back to the side in Tuesday night's EFL Trophy match against Mansfield Town after a large number of the squad went up to a fortnight without training due to the COVID-19 situation at the club.

Speaking to iFollow Iron, he said: “I feel good and very happy to get the 90 minutes of fitness and clear my system.”

Speaking about the previous game against the Stags, he said: “It was a tough challenge, I thought we did particularly well in the second half. We showed good belief and character to try and get back into the game."

Since returning back to training, Onariase says the overall mood has been positive.

“I've trained a couple of days this week, it has been positive, everyone is buzzing and ready to go," he said.

“I think as players you look forward to games and buzz off them. So, with the fact we have a lot coming up, we’re looking forward to those and getting stuck in.

“We just need to get the ball rolling and as soon as we get the first win (since September) it causes a knock-on effect, and we can get things going."

Looking ahead to Saturday’s match against Oldham Athletic, he commented: “We have got to focus on ourselves and what we need to do in a game. They need to worry about us more than we have to worry about them. All our focus is on us.”

In terms of his fitness levels, he feels ready for the upcoming matches, adding: “You need to be used to Saturday-Tuesday games, that’s what the league brings to us. I think getting 90 minutes of fitness you only feel better two days after a game, so I’m feeling better now and ready to go again.

“Six points in a week are up for grabs, and the more points we get the better.”

He added: “I think the gaffer has a very positive attitude and sets the tone. In training there is a lot of banter going and a lot of positivity, and that rubs off on players.

“Everyone is in an encouraging mindset. If anyone does anything good or bad you get a well done or let’s do better, so that’s the state everyone is in at the moment.

“We’ve got a good group, we work hard, and everyone wants to better themselves, and you’ve got everyone pushing each other. You’ve got positivity from the management and the staff, so I can’t complain.”

In two of the last three games, Onariase has had the captain’s armband and expressed how much of an honour it is.

“To be here in a short period of time and for the gaffer to trust me and give me that leadership role, it’s really good," he said.

“I feel it’s a privilege because it could have been any player, and the fact he chose me makes me happy with it. I always try and encourage the players, so it is good to know that he is seeing me as one of those characters.”

Talking about the backing from the fans, he commented: “I appreciate the support from the fans. The fans always want the best for the team and when you’re passionate you care about something a lot.

“I appreciate them being very passionate about the club and giving me positive comments and they want the best for the club. I appreciate their support and we want to repay them back with the three points on Saturday and more points in the league."

See much more from Emmanuel Onariase on IFollow Iron. Click here to buy an iFollow match pass ahead of this weekend's encounter against Oldham Athletic.


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