Bailly targets Man United glory for 'uncle' Solskjaer after 'rage' at injury troubles
Manchester United defender Eric Bailly has told ESPN about his "rage" at spending the first half of the season on the sidelines but now he is back, he is determined to help "uncle" Ole Gunnar Solskjaer finish the campaign on a high.
A knee ligament injury suffered during the summer forced Bailly out for more than six months before making his comeback in February.
The 25-year-old has started three games since his return, during which United have not conceded a goal, as Solskjaer's team have put a mixed start behind them to go on a run of nine games unbeaten ahead of Sunday's meeting with Manchester City at Old Trafford.
"When you're injured you basically can't do anything," Bailly told ESPN in an exclusive interview.
"The emotions you feel are just rage. But if it happens to you then, that's that.
"You have to find some peace with it. It really was difficult seeing the team suffer at times and losing important matches but you know, it's still such a young team and we still have so much to learn. But right before my return, the team was growing in confidence and I was lucky to return to the team that has a strong mentality."
Bailly, who saw his contract extended until 2022 in January, made his return to first team action in the impressive 2-0 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge after Victor Lindelof was ruled out through illness.
Solskjaer was full of praise for his performance afterwards and the centre-back has enjoyed working under the Norwegian -- someone he describes as an "uncle" -- since he took over 15 months ago.
"It's also important being able to work with someone who is a former player," Bailly said.
"Someone who understands the players' situations, understands all the things that can happen from time to time. Because football is not just played on the pitch, it's also about all the things that go on around the game, the things that people don't see, and he is someone that gets that and it helps the team a lot. Besides being a coach, he's just a normal person you know? I would say like an uncle."
United have hit form at the right time ahead of the final three months of the season during which they are still fighting for a place in the top four, as well as silverware in the FA Cup and the Europa League.
They are three points off the Champions League places with 10 games remaining, face LASK Linz in the Europa League round-of-16 and have a date with Norwich in the FA Cup quarterfinals.
"Considering the position we are in now, I would prefer to win the Europa League because when you win that, it takes you to the Champions League," Bailly said.
"So for me, that's my favourite. However, trying to win every game is important and that's all we can do and see where that takes us."