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Axel Tuanzebe says time is right for Man Utd to hit top spot in Premier League

Manchester United v Watford – Emirates FA Cup – Third Round – Meadow Park
(Image credit: Martin Rickett)

Axel Tuanzebe says Manchester United are focused on cementing their place at the top of the Premier League this week.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men are level on 33 points with leaders Liverpool ahead of Tuesday’s game in hand at Burnley.

United will move top with a positive result and get the opportunity to strengthen their position at the summit when they travel to Anfield next Sunday.

“We want to be top of the league, you know, and this is the time to do it,” home-grown defender Tuanzebe said.

“Two games that can really cement our position at the top and we just bounce on from there.”

With that crunch doubleheader looming large, Tuanzebe was among nine players brought in by Solskjaer for Saturday’s FA Cup third-round tie against Watford.

Scott McTominay’s early header proved the difference in a 1-0 win that may not have been pretty but gave much-needed minutes to players like Tuanzebe with plenty of potential opportunities to come.

“Sometimes games like this are scrappy,” Tuanzebe said. “A lot of changes to the team, so it’s hard to have a rhythm, a pattern of play, but job done.”

“I’m feeling alright. I would obviously love to get more minutes, so I can constantly keep my performances up.

“Obviously the team are doing well so the only way in is really to force myself in by playing well in the chances that I do get.

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“Sometimes they can just come out of the blue but the main thing today is that we kept a clean sheet and we won the game.”

Harry Maguire ended Saturday’s match alongside Tuanzebe in defence after Eric Bailly was forced off just before half-time.

The 26-year-old took a nasty blow to the back of his head when Dean Henderson was clearing the ball, but the Ivorian downplayed the injury on Twitter saying “it was just a knock”.

“He’s fine,” Tuanzebe said of Bailly when asked for an update by MUTV. “He’s alright, that’s the main thing. It’s good to see that he’s alright.

“He’s a warrior, that’s what he does for us. He gets in the way of things so good to see that he’s alright and should be training in the next week or so.”

Manchester United v Watford – Emirates FA Cup – Third Round – Meadow Park

Man Utd’s Eric Bailly receives medical attention during the FA Cup third round win over Watford at Old Trafford.

While United’s attention turns to trying to win the Premier League, Watford will look to push on in their attempts to return to the top division.

The Hornets are sixth in the Championship and six points off the automatic promotion spots, with Xisco Munoz looking to kick on after promising moments during his third match in charge.

“This is our way,” the recently-appointed head coach said. “I’m very happy with the guys because they worked hard.

“It’s not easy to play like this but today is the first step. It’s not enough, we need to work on little details and we need to continue.”

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