Eric Bailly proved that his language lessons are coming along nicely, when he provided MUTV with a first interview in English ahead of Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup quarter-final tie at Wolves.
The Manchester United defender is clearly settling into life in the area, and has been working hard with a tutor to master the dialect.
“My English is now better,” he explained at Old Trafford earlier this week.
“I try to learn it over time.
”I have one teacher who comes to my home to try to learn English. Now, I think my English is better. Not good but it is improved! I speak it with my team-mates but the people sometimes think it is very funny when I speak! For me, it’s important, though, to speak with my team-mates in English.
ERIC BAILLY’S FIRST INTERVIEW IN ENGLISHVIDEO
The Ivory Coast international may been forced to leave the field in the first half of the epic Champions League win over Paris Saint-Germain, but he is now fighting fit and hoping for a chance to feature at Molineux this weekend.
The Emirates FA Cup is always high on the list of priorities at United and Bailly is keen to help Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men clear another tough obstacle on the road to Wembley.
“Yeah, I’m good,” he told MUTV, when asked about his fitness.
“Now, I’m good. I want to keep working, give my best for my team-mates and, when it is my turn, I try to play well so I am staying in the team.
”We’re still very confident because the team is now very good. The mentality is so good and the team works every day with the manager and the staff. The mentality is very important for the team now and very important for the future. I think we want to keep working to give the best results for the team.
Bailly is aware of the challenge Wolves will pose, after they drew 1-1 at Old Trafford earlier in the season in the Premier League and, last weekend, were only a late Eden Hazard equaliser away from beating Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Nuno Espirito Santos’s side have already knocked Liverpool out of the competition as well.
“I think this is a very good test for the team,” he added.
“We want to keep working this week and, on Saturday, give everything for winning the game.
”We have good fans. When we play away, and at home, the fans are, every time, very good. We are happy when we see the fans and I think they will come and show the solidarity for the team and the players, who will give everything on the pitch for making those fans happy. I think, when we win, it’s very good for the team and for the United fans.
“You mentioned about the players singing the fans’ songs in the dressing room [in Paris] and this shows a real connection with the supporters. We recognise the fans and how they can influence the games and our performances.”
The 24-year-old is enjoying working under Solskjaer, and the Reds are aiming to go into the international break on a real high by qualifying for the FA Cup semi-finals for the second year running.
“I think it’s been a great experience,” Bailly said.
“He is a great guy – very humble and down to earth.
”He speaks to everyone in the same way as players. Not everyone can play at the same time and it doesn’t matter with Ole. You know, if you work hard and are focused, and we have all got that aim to be playing, then the mentality around the place is really, really positive at the moment.
“Even if you’re not in the team, he treats you just as equal as the players who are playing.”