Man Utd driven by season failings says Valencia

Manchester United winger Antonio Valencia has revealed how the club are driven on by their Champions League and Carling Cup agony, The Sun reports.

The Ecuadorian international was deployed at right back for United’s 5-0 Boxing Day win over Wigan. United made it to last season’s Champions League final, but failed to make it past the group stages this season as they were dumped out in Switzerland by Basel. Those frustrations were enhanced by their shock upset to Crystal Palace at Old Trafford in the Carling Cup.

United have taken their frustrations out on the rest of the Premier League by scoring 16 goals in four matches. Those wins have seen the lead Manchester City held swiped at the top of the table and United are level with their local rivals. A win for United on New Year’s Eve could see the Reds go top of the table at the end of 2011 and Valencia has revealed that the defeats in Basel and against Crystal Palace have inspired them.

Valencia said: ‘Those defeats have really focused our minds. I suppose both results were unexpected, certainly the defeat in the Carling Cup was a huge shock. The biggest blow is the Champions League, because we’re a big club and we’re expected to be fighting to win the competition, not just qualify from the group. The group now tries harder in training and we’re going into games with a determined attitude, because we’ve got to win something’.

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