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Toby relishing Old Trafford test

Posted on 6 August 2015  - 17:20

As far as opening games of the season go, it doesn’t get much tougher than a trip to Old Trafford – but centre-back Toby Alderweireld is confident we will rise to the challenge.

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A lynchpin in the Southampton defence that kept a clean sheet on their way to winning at Manchester United last season, Toby knows what it takes to go to one of the Premier League’s most iconic grounds and emerge victorious.

We’ve also recorded some impressive results at Old Trafford in recent years and our new Belgian defender believes we have what it takes to repeat the heroics of 2012-13 and 2013-14.

“I’ve played a lot of big games so I know what to expect,” he said. “The first game of the season is always a strange one – everybody is very excited and we’re looking forward to it. It’s a big challenge.

“We have the opportunity to take a good first step – we are confident we can get a good result but we know it will be difficult. They have brought in a lot of good players but we’ve had a good pre-season and trained hard so physically we are 100 per cent and we want to get a good result to start the season.

“We have confidence in ourselves to play football. It’s always difficult to play at Old Trafford but we have to believe in ourselves and how we want to play. If we do that, we can get a good result.”

A lot of our younger players impressed in the 2-0 Audi Cup victory over AC Milan in Munich on Wednesday night and, with competition for places in the side, Toby is in no doubt that whoever features against the Red Devils on Saturday lunchtime will stand up and be counted.

“We have a young team but even the younger players have a lot of experience for their age and they know what they have to do,” he explained.

“Everyone wants to show their ability and we want to finish as high as we can this season. That starts on Saturday.”