When we last faced Manchester United in October at St James Park, Steve Bruce gave DeAndre Yedlin his first start of the season. Yedlin had returned to the pitch the week before, coming on as a substitute in our dreadful defeat at Leicester.
The American enjoyed a run of six straight starts in which he looked like he had nailed down the right wing-back position. However, DeAndre suffered a hip injury after the Aston Villa defeat that opened the door for Javier Manquillo.
It is now Javier who is enjoying a run of starts as he’s started the last five matches. The Spaniard has been outstanding during his streak of starts and looks like he’ll continue to get the call from Bruce.
He’s looking forward to today’s match at Old Trafford as Newcastle try to pull a double over the Red Devils. Speaking to nufc.co.uk, this is Javier’s take on today’s game:
“It’s the sort of game and the sort of stadium that every one of us wants to play in.
“It’ll be down to the manager to see who he thinks is in the best form and really ready for that occasion, but certainly, it’s one that we’re all looking forward to.
“They did have the defeat recently but that, in a way, spurs them on to try and make their supporters happy on Boxing Day.
“But certainly, we have no fear going to places like that. We believe that we can take points from any ground where we go to play an away game.
“It’s not fear – it’s just a case of going there determined and going with the right attitude, a determined attitude, to get something from the game.”
Manquillo has shown that he has something about him since starting against Manchester City a month ago. What’s impressed us most is his defensive tenacity. He kept both City’s Raheem Sterling and Palace’s Wilfried Zaha very quiet when up against them.
Bruce hinted earlier in the week that Javier would continue to start. Though with four matches over the next ten days he’ll likely want to get Yedlin or Emil Krafth on the pitch for a game.
However, he may not be willing to pull Manquillo if the 25-year-old continues on his great run. He could find himself up against Marcus Rashford or Anthony Martial today. He sounds like he’s relishing that opportunity:
“I think one of the things you enjoy most in the game is playing with and against the best players.
“That’s something that you always enjoy.”
As Steve Bruce said earlier in the week, Manquillo has pleasantly surprised us all. He’s even hopefully pushed himself into consideration for a new contract.