Lee Sharpe, former Manchester United winger talks to 888SPORT following Manchester United’s 3-3 Champions League draw against Galatasaray.

Hear from Lee as he shares his opinions on all things Manchester United and looks ahead to the weekends match versus Newcastle. Lee Sharpe also talks about his other former club Leeds United and their push for promotion back to the Premier League.

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We also get Lee Sharpe’s Premier League prediction for Chelsea v Brighton and Manchester City v Spurs this weekend and his take on Premier League relegation odds.

What did you make of the performance from Manchester United?

Lee Sharpe: Well, I thought it was an unbelievable game. I think the atmosphere over there sets up for that. I think there were some really good bits, but then I think there was a couple of little disappointed bits.

I think to be 2-0 up and then 3-1 and not come away with a win. I think he's really disappointing, but I think there were some good performances and.

Garnacho scored again for Manchester United, how impressed have you been with him?

Lee Sharpe: Hugely. Yeah. I think we've all seen his potential and what he's capable of doing. The goal at the weekend was an absolute worldie and probably goal of the season in anybody's books. And he has got a lot of ability.

I think there's been a question mark over his sort of mentality and attitude, and he's got plenty of experienced players around him that can help him with that and guide him down the right path. So hopefully he's going to be sort of a sensation for the next ten or 15 years to come.

I think he's probably better than I was, to be fair, but he's an incredible talent. He's one of those people that you pay your money to see.

He runs at people, he takes people on. He's a little bit more like an old fashioned winger. He's direct, he scores goals, and he's really exciting. So hopefully he can maintain that sort of performance level.

How bad a result was it in terms of qualification for Manchester United?

Lee Sharpe: It just makes it well, I wouldn't say impossible, but they could have really given themselves a chance last night.

And like I said, when you've had a two goal lead in two separate occasions in the game, you just need to manage that well and to see the game through. And unfortunately, they weren't able to do that.

But again, too many chances for the opposing team. They looked a little bit susceptible defensively again, and it's just a shame that they couldn't hold on to the win.

It's still not over. If you are Munich, are you going to play a weakened team and give Man United the chance to go through and then possibly meet them somewhere down the line? I'd say they'll put a strong team out and try and make sure that Man United go out.

It sort of works in Man United's favour that Copenhagen and Galatasaray both have to go for a win, so neither team can sit back. It makes it interesting, but it just does put it out of their hands a little bit.

If Manchester United do not qualify, does this affect Ten Hags position? 

Lee Sharpe: I wouldn't have thought so. I think when Ten Hogg went in, I think it would have been a project that they would have seen as a two or three years before he even got to where he wanted to get to.

I don't think he's even where he wants to be at the moment and I don't think it's worth changing managers at this time of the season and this time of his tenure. I think he's the right man for the job.

Yeah, he's going to be under a bit of pressure if they don't qualify for the Champions League, but I think they have every chance of still getting top four so they can still play Champions League football next season.

Looking at the Goal keeping situation, was it an error to let De Gea leave and replace with Onana?

Lee Sharpe: Well, it's certainly looking like it was an error now. At the time, obviously nobody knew about it. I think it was a little bit weird that they just shuffled De Gea out the door the way they did.

I know he made a couple of high profile mistakes last year, but he's been so consistent in the time that he's been there, he's kept them in games, he's won games for them. So I think it was a little bit disappointing the way they let him go.

And it's a big risk bringing in someone that doesn't know the Premier League to be your first choice, number one.

In hindsight, would it have been better to keep David De Gea for a year and have a  as an understudy and let him get used to the club, let him get used to the atmosphere and the expectations? Because he's certainly costing the team points at the moment and it is disappointing.

It's tough as well when you're an outfield player and you're running your socks off trying to get a result, and then the goalkeeper is throwing a goal in every now and again, so it makes it very frustrating, very difficult.

Onana is a big character, so hopefully he can come through it. He does make some good saves, he does do some good things and let's hope that the mistakes calm themselves down and he learns by experience.

Scott McTominay scored again last night, have you been impressed with him?

Lee Sharpe: Yeah, I've always felt McTominay is a good player. I think his obviously, confidence has grown with the goals he's been scoring for Scotland, he's been patient, he's got his chance and now he's playing well in the first team at United.

I definitely think he's a player worth keeping. I don't know whether he would be a first choice regular, but as a squad player, he does job anytime he's asked, he gets around the pitch and I don't think he ever lets the team down.

So I think he's a great player to have amongst the lads, as Maguire is. I've always said about Maguire as well, I think the criticism of him was a little bit harsh. You don't become a bad player overnight, he's still a really good player and I think he's proving that now.

Talk to us about Bruno Fernandes and the brilliant goal versus Galatasaray.

Lee Sharpe: Yeah, he comes up trumps when a game needs it. He scores big goals in big games and that's what makes him a big player. I can understand why people question his captaincy.

He does argue with the ref a little bit much for me and throws his arms around a little bit for me, but that's just a modern day footballer these days, they get involved and he likes to show that he cares. 

Let’s preview Newcastle United v Manchester United this weekend.

Lee Sharpe: It’s a tough game. There's not an easy game in the Premier League. I think the only thing you can sort of hopefully expect from Newcastle is a little bit of tiredness from the Champions League game on Tuesday. They had a really tough game against PSG.

I thought they were unlucky to get a penalty awarded against them, but they're not experienced in playing in Europe and their squad's a little bit depleted with a few injuries, so you can take advantage of that, but it's really a must win for Manchester United who are on a little bit of a good run of form in the Premier League.

They're sort of not playing great for 90 minutes, they're playing well in spells, but they're also showing good character that they can dig results out when they're not playing well, so hopefully they get a result of the weekend.

Newcastle are playing well and Eddie Howe is doing a great job up there and the only thing you've got going in your favour if you’re Manchester United is they've had a tough game midweek.

They've got a few injuries. I think you've got to go at them and start fast and put them under pressure. I'm going to go 2-1 win for Manchester United.

See last statistics on Manchester United vs Newcastle

Manchester United
Games Played 8 7 15 8 6 14
Wins 5 4 9 7 1 8
Draws 0 0 0 0 2 2
Loss 3 3 6 1 3 4
Goals For 10 8 18 19 13 32
Goals Against 11 7 18 4 10 14

*Stats based on last and current season; Subject to current changes.

Can Manchester United get Top 4 this season? 

Lee Sharpe: Absolutely. United are the sort of team that can go and put six to eight game  winning streak together and they are improving every time they go out.

I think they do have spells in games of 10 to 20 minutes, where they're up against it, but they're still creating chances. They're just not putting them away as often as they'd like to.

What’s your view on Ten Hag as Manager if Manchester United don’t make Top 4?

Lee Sharpe: I think you have to assess at the end of the season. They've changed managers nearly every year up until Ten Hag, so it's not done them any favours.

I think recruitment needs to be looked at really closely and then reassess at the end of the season and see where they're at. I still think Ten Hag should be the man to stay in charge.

Who are potential buys you would look at for Manchester United?

Lee Sharpe: I like Ferguson at Brighton. I've seen him a couple of times, he looks a decent player and a lot of potential for a young lad.

I do like Ivan Toney. I think he would lead the line really well. I also like Ollie Watkins as well. So, yeah, there's a couple of options.

Marcus Rashford scored versus Everton. What do you make of his start to the season?

Lee Sharpe: He has struggled this year. He doesn't look the same sort of player as last season. I think it is a confidence thing because I don't think he's making the right decisions at the right times.

We know he's got loads of ability, we know he can score goals, we know he's absolutely deadly on the counter with his pace.

So I think it's just a bit of confidence and he's experienced enough, he's got a strong team around him, he can work through that. And we know the ability he's got. So let's hope he gets back to top form because he's certainly underachieving so far this season.

Talk to us about Kobbie Mainoo and his performances so far for Manchester United.

Lee Sharpe: He just looks like a natural in the team. He just doesn't panic in any situation. He just never gets flustered. He's composed, he knows what's around him.

He looks like he's an experienced first teamer and he's been in the team for two minutes. So there will be high expectations for him. Hopefully the manager in the club can protect him and play him at the right times.

Let’s talk about recruitment for Manchester United. 

Lee Sharpe: You look at the signings this year, and you look at Hojlund, who's not got going yet and not started scoring goals yet.

Mason Mount's had a few injuries and not quite hit the ground running. Amrabat has been in and out of the team Onana's making a few mistakes.

So is it just coincidence? Is it the step up in class and the step up to the Premier League and the pace and the power of the Premier League? They are all going to take a little bit of time to settle, but certainly recruitment has not been flourishing as it should be

You also played for Leeds United who are having a good run of form in The Championship. How do you assess them?

Lee Sharpe: They seem to be on a good run of form at the moment, chasing down the top two. Some big clubs around them. You've got Leicester at the top of the league and Southampton just behind them.

It's a really tough division to get out of, but it's looking like the ex Premier League teams, the teams that went down last season, are coming on strong now and I expect Leeds to get promotion.

Whether they can do it automatic, you look at a team like Ipswich with Leicester, Southampton and Leeds all chasing them down, you would half expect them to sort of drop off a little bit, but hopefully Leeds can do it automatic. But If now, I think they'll do it in the playoffs

I also like the Manager Daniel Farke, I think he's got them playing really good football and at a high tempo.

I think he is carrying on from what Bielsa left behind and the mentality of the players and the work rate. So, I think he's the right man for the job.

How do you see Chelsea v Brighton this weekend?

Lee Sharpe: Chelsea can't seem to get it going, can they? They sort of play some good football but can't seem to get too many wins going. And Brighton are a really good outfit. I love to watch Brighton.

The managers obviously get a lot of credit for the way they are playing but being in Europe is a tough test for Brighton with their small squad. Chelsea gave Manchester City and if they play offensively like that again, they have a massive chance.

My prediction is Chelsea to beat Brighton 2-1.

Final game to preview is Manchester City v Spurs.

Lee Sharpe: Yeah, another tough one. Tottenham have come out of traps flying this year. The manager's done a fantastic job. I love to listen to him. I think he talks real sense and a real good game.

But Manchester City are just a juggernaut, aren't they? They just keep rolling and they get a couple of injuries, and they have people to bring in.

You think Jack Grealish is one of the best left sided players and then they bring in DoKu, who looks like an absolute sensation and must be a fullback's nightmare to play against. So, I am going to predict Manchester City to beat Spurs 2 v 1.

Turning attention to relegation from the Premier League, what are your thoughts?

Lee Sharpe: The three promoted sides are finding it tough and are very likely to all be relegated to the Championship. I like Vincent Kompany and believe he can be a good Premier League manager, but Burnley just can’t hold onto leads and also keep clean sheets.

Luton had a big win over Crystal Palace, but like Sheffield United, they have a thin squad and injuries make it so difficult for them.

With Everton’s 10 point deduction this gives all three of them hope, but Sean Dyche should be able to get Everton back up the table with their squad being of a higher quality than the other three sides and if Calvert Lewin can get his scoring boots on then Everton will be fine.

Of the rest Bournemouth should have enough with Solanke being their main goal threat and it was a big win for Fulham, who also will have enough quality.

*Credit for all of the photos in this article belongs to Alamy*

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