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You want to win games with Zlatan Ibrahimovic starting: Sheringham

IANS | Kolkata |

Former Manchester United striker Teddy Sheringham on Thursday lamented the club’s League Cup quarter-final defeat to Championship outfit Bristol City, saying if a star figure like Zlatan Ibrahimovic starts, the result does not bode well for the club.

Sheringham who is here to coach ATK in the Indian Super League (ISL) football tournament, was at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC).

“It’s important for the football club when you have people like Zlatan starting and you wanna win these games. There is no way that Jose would have gone in there and said ‘we don’t wanna win it’.

“It’s also important for young squad players to go out there and show Jose they can do it. So overall. I am sure he would have been very disappointed this morning,” Sheringham told IANS on the sidelines of PGTI’s season-ending golf meet.

Holders United lost 1-2 despite Zlatan, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba starting.

Joe Bryan put Bristol ahead with a superb 51st-minute strike but Ibrahimovic thundered home a low freekick to restore parity seven minutes later.

Yet Bristol, who are third in the Championship and hunting promotion to the top-flight, hit back with Korey Smith ruffling the back of the net in second-half added time.

Asked if high-flying Manchester City, who are 11 points ahead of second-placed United after 18 games, have put the title race to bed before Christmas, Sheringham said: “Looks that way. The way they are playing at the moment, they are fantastic aren’t they? They are awesome. They came to Old Trafford and put on a show really. And Manchester United coudn’t deal with them. So it’s going to be tough to get back there.”

Sheringham heaped praise on City manager Pep Guardiola, saying the Spaniard has taken the Premier League by storm with his brand of football.

“Pep is extremely hard working. He wants to get his point across. He has an idea on how to play football. Very forceful on the way he does it. He is taking the Premier League by a storm at the moment.

“I think he plays the type of football that everybody wants to see, all the way to the goalkeeper. His goalkeeper (Ederson) is probably the best passer in the division, which is very very unusual. Lot of goalkeepers think they can play but this boy can play,” Sheringham said.

Former United great and Everton player Wayne Rooney recently said United’s treble-winning 2007-08 team was better than Guardiola’s current City crop. Sheringham did not want to get into the argument, saying it was the 1998-99 all-conquering United team he was part of, that was the best.

“It’s very hard to differentiate between two eras. They are very good now and Manchester United were very good back then. Not as good as the 1999 team though,” he chuckled.