Diogo Dalot said confirmation of Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s partial takeover of Manchester United had brought a “new energy” to the club after helping the Red Devils into the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Dalot opened the scoring as United eased to a 2-0 win over Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium in Monday’s third-round tie, whipping a fine finish into the bottom-right corner midway through the first half.
His compatriot Bruno Fernandes then won and converted a penalty in the second half as United teed up a fourth-round trip to either Eastleigh or Newport County, who meet in a third-round replay next week after drawing 1-1 on Saturday.
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Monday’s game was United’s first of 2024, a year they hope will bring more joy with INEOS chairman Ratcliffe set to acquire a 25 per cent stake in the club – and full control of all footballing operations – when approval is granted by the Premier League in the coming weeks.
United have struggled throughout Erik ten Hag’s second season at the helm, but Dalot feels the FA Cup represents a perfect opportunity to get the Ractliffe era off to a flying start.
Asked about the impact of the partial takeover, the full-back told ITV Sport: “It brings some good energy, some new energy and positive feelings.
“There are new things to conquer and we’re looking to the future with good energy. I think you can already see the motivation and the positivity they [INEOS] have brought.”
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Asked whether United could go one step further and win the FA Cup after losing last year’s final to rivals Manchester City, Dalot said: “Obviously, that’s why we’re here.
“We’re Manchester United and we play to win everything. Hopefully we can go to Wembley and win it.”
Boss Ten Hag also spoke positively about the impact of Ratcliffe’s arrival after Monday’s win, saying: “It’s an inspiration, and everyone is optimistic.
“There’s a lot of work to do and we’ve had a lot of setbacks, but it’s a journey. We stayed alive, and we will strike back.”