Pallister: Liverpool game now even more important
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Former Manchester United stopper Gary Pallister knows his former club won't get away with another dismal defensive display when Liverpool head to Old Trafford in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday night.
As a Reds stalwart of nine years, Sunday's crushing Manchester derby defeat was not pretty viewing for the centre-back who lifted the league title on four separate occasions at Old Trafford.
"We just gave away bad goals, simple as that," Pallister tells FourFourTwo. "We were slow to pick people up, unaware of things going on around us and pretty lax to say the least.
"You cannot concede four goals and expect to get something out of it. You want to go to places like the Etihad and make it difficult for them. The last thing you want to do is to give them a head start and get their fans behind them, but we did that by conceding an early goal.
"There's no hiding from the defeat. They got beat, should put their hands up and admit it didn’t go well. The result is something that we have to live with."
Of course, you don't go through 17 years at the very top without low points; certainly Pallister has endured his fair share. So what's it like being on the end of a fuming Fergie after a horror show like Sunday's?
"Sometimes you'd walk in expecting to get a bollocking and not get it, and then you might get one when you least expected it," he recalls.
"I’m not sure of [David] Moyes’ approach and whether it replicates that of Sir Alex, but I get the feeling he said a few things judging by his post-match conference."
Now, though, Moyes' men have a shot at repairing some of the damage when Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool roll into town.
Pallister admits there's only one way United can repair their bruised ego – by winning.
"The best thing you can do after a humiliating defeat is to get back out there and produce a performance good enough to rekindle faith with the fans," he says.
"The loss on Sunday has added a bit more importance. This game was always going to be important as you don’t want suffer defeat at the hands of your main rivals [Liverpool], and it's a chance to put some more silverware in the cabinet.
"These two sides have been battling for supremacy for years now, and this game will be no different. United will be smarting from the 1-0 defeat at Anfield a few weeks ago, and eager to put the City debacle behind them."
With those particular defeats in mind, change may be afoot for Moyes. But while the nature of the Capital One Cup dictates squad rotation, Pallister insists no player's place in the side is guaranteed – including those of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand.
"Of course they should be worried about their positions," says the former England man. "They are at Manchester United. The players competing for their positions are internationals for their respective countries. It is not different to when I was at United and David May, Ronny Johnsen and Henning Berg came in.
"Eventually one of them is going to take your place. They know this will happen to them because they aren’t getting any younger. Nemanja has had a serious injury, Rio has also had injury problems and your time is always going to come at some point.
"I don’t think that it is too much of a major issue. I think we will see changes in the back four come Wednesday night, and it will be a great opportunity for any replacements to stake a claim in the side."
Gary Pallister was speaking ahead of the third round of the Capital One Cup. For more information go to www.capitalonecup.co.uk