Manchester United have lost three matches on the trot in recent competitions. Now, the Red Devils need to erase those dark wounds and move forward to concentrate on the EFL Cup third round match against League One side Northampton Town at Sixfields Stadium on Wednesday.
United's negative results in the Europa League (against Feyenoord) and Premier League (Watford) was a shock after their loss to Manchester City in PL. No one had seen such string of losses coming for the English club, who had started the season brilliantly.
There will be pressure on Mourinho, who signed big stars including Paul Pogba, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Swede has been impressive scoring goals for the club, but the Frenchman has not proved his worth. With this game being an important one in the context of United's poor results of late, the manager might play with a strong team, and try to get back to the winning ways.
There is no either ways for Mourinho and his players, who will have to deliver and reach the next round of the competition at all costs. Teams like Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal have done so, and they will also be keen to follow suit, but United will have to come up with a strong performance to book their fourth round berth.
Mourinho will want all his players to come up with their A game against the home team. They have been below par in the last two matches against Feyenoord and Watford primarily. Another such performance will be catastrophic against Northampton, who have played some quality football in the EFL Cup.
Northampton defeated Barnsley in the first round and showed the exit doors to Premier League side West Brom (second round) in penalties. It will encourage them to shine once again.
United must keep an eye on Northampton striker Alex Revell, who is one of their key stars, and has been consistently scoring goals. Winger Kenji Gorre is aware of the tough ask against Manchester United, but wants to give it his all to defeat the visitors.
"To test yourself against Premier League opposition is great and we're facing top-class players, so it'll be tough. We might not have a lot of the ball but we're going into the match full of confidence and to work our socks off to try to get the win and cause an upset," Gorre told MUTV.
Northampton might have never beaten Manchester United, but have defeated big teams in the past. They can look for inspiration from their third round League Cup clash in 2010, when they defeated Liverpool at Anfield. Can Northampton defy all odds and progress into the fourth round of the EFL Cup?
Watch Northampton Town vs Manchester United live
Northampton Town vs Manchester United EFL Cup is scheduled for 7.45 pm BST (12.15 am IST, 2.45 am ET) start. TV and Live streaming options can be found below.
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