Marcus Rashford and the rest of the lads need to put the Champions League exit behind them.
They can’t spend the rest of the season thinking what if because then they risk missing out on Champions League for the entirety of next season too.
Rashford, 23, is joint-leading scorer in Europe’s top competition this term which means pretty much nothing at this stage because United are out.
At least with the Manchester derby coming up the players should be able to focus their mind on the next match.
Going into the game, Rashford has had a bad shoulder in recent weeks which kept him out of the international break in November but he says he’ll shrug off any pain in a bid to help fire Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side to another victory over City.
Last season we had a really healthy record against our neighbours: three wins out of four.
Speaking on the day he received a Sport for Social Change award from the Sports Journalists’ Association, Rashford revealed he’s managing his injury “day by day” but insists he is ready for the Manchester derby.
“I have to try to control things I can control,” he told Manchester United’s official website. “I don’t really worry about the rest. I take it game by game. I know I’m healthy, I’m smiling and I’m ready to play the games.
“I don’t want to miss a game, especially the big, important games. If I feel like I can still help the team by scoring goals, working hard and making assists, there’s no reason why I can’t play with a bit of pain.”
Reflecting on Group H in the Champions League, Rashford said: “We were in a tough group but we were in control of the group and we let it slip.
“We take responsibility for it but have to move forward. It’s something that’s in the past now. The reality of it is we can’t change what’s happened.
“We’re definitely disappointed but the only way we can come back from that is to win the next game. So that’s what we’re focusing on now and, yeah, the quicker we get the disappointment out of our system, the better.
“We can still win a lot of trophies this year – that was the aim at the beginning of the season. Just because we lose one game, and get knocked out of one tournament, it doesn’t change that. We can’t let one game cloud what we’ve got ahead of us.”
Although I want to see Solskjaer win a trophy as United manager, our league form needs to be sorted to save our season. A bit of consistency right now and we’ll be right up there in the mix.
“If everyone could pick a game after a loss, it’s the Manchester derby,” Rashford added.
“It’s the biggest opportunity to redeem yourself, as an individual and as a team. We have to do it together. We win as a team and lose as a team. That’s what football is.
“We’ve got to look forward to giving our all against City and then the same again in the next game, and so on. I think it’s important the quicker we leave that [midweek] game behind us, the better.”