Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has sent a personal message to the United faithful ahead of their important Premier League clash against Aston Villa on Friday.
READ MORE: Everton attacker Bernard has reportedly emerged as a transfer target for AS Roma who could look to offer the Brazilian a way out of his Goodison Park nightmare.
United are set to head into Friday’s mouth-watering match-up against Dean Smith’s Aston Villa in second place in the Premier League, three-points behind arch-rivals Liverpool, but with an important game in-hand.
Villa will be equally as up for Friday’s domestic tie after sitting in 5th spot, with two games in-hand over leaders Liverpool.
However, all the pressure is set to be on the Red Devils as the red half of Manchester continue to cement themselves very much in this season’s exciting title race.
United have not been considered genuine title challengers since the days of Sir Alex Ferguson but fans are beginning to hold out some hope that the 2020-21 season could be the campaign which sees the Red Devils lift their first title since 2012-13.
Speaking ahead of Friday’s clash, United’s executive vice-chairman Woodward has sent a personal message to fans.
His message which is scheduled to printed in the club’s official match-day program on Friday but has been sent to season ticket holders a day earlier reads:
“As we welcome Aston Villa to Old Trafford for the first game of 2021, there is much to be excited about on the pitch as Ole and the team head into the new year competing strongly in the Premier League and with three cups still to pursue.
“The team’s positive form has lifted all our spirits in recent weeks, winning seven and drawing two of our last nine domestic games at the time of writing, and let’s hope for another entertaining game this evening to start the year on a bright note.
“Yet, while football has been a welcome distraction for many people, we know that these remain extremely challenging times for societies across the globe. Many of our fans have been personally affected by Covid-19 and we send our sincere condolences to everyone who has lost loved ones. Many others are on the frontline of the pandemic, whether working in healthcare or keeping our communities going, and all of you have our deepest respect and gratitude.
“We know that the social and economic fallout is severe and that’s why we have stepped up our own community response through the fantastic work of Manchester United Foundation. This includes the provision of 80,000 meals for vulnerable children during the Christmas holidays in partnership with FareShare Greater Manchester, complementing the wider campaign against child food poverty so inspirationally led by Marcus Rashford.
“Marcus’ [Rashford] efforts have demonstrated the power of football to be a force for good and we are tremendously proud of him.
“While this remains a difficult winter in the short-term, we can all feel more optimistic about the medium and longer-term as vaccines arrive to fight the virus. One of the many benefits from this should be the gradual return of fans to football stadiums and we can’t wait for ours to be allowed back inside Old Trafford.
“The team has coped well in challenging circumstances while playing behind closed doors. Indeed, at the time of writing, we have won more points-per-game since Project Restart last June than any other Premier League club. We also have four more wins and nine more goals than at the same time last season.
“There are many positive statistics like these showing the progress made under Ole in the past year. But they tell only part of the story. Just as important is the work we see being done behind the scenes to build a winning culture consistent with the club’s traditions of attacking football played by youthful, hard-working teams fusing homegrown talent with top-class recruits.
“We are getting closer to those objectives as the squad continues to develop following the arrival of Bruno Fernandes, Donny van de Beek, Alex Telles and Edinson Cavani. Our ongoing investment reflects the tremendous resilience of the club and our commitment to supporting Ole, while remaining disciplined at an extremely challenging time.
“As always, our priority is to win trophies and, with the team going into the new year competing on four fronts, we are optimistic about the path ahead in 2021. Thank you as ever for your loyal support, enjoy tonight’s game, and best wishes to you and your loved ones for a happy and healthy new year.”