EPL

I love tackles, man! - Wan-Bissaka draws confidence from challenges

By Sports Desk August 23, 2019

Aaron Wan-Bissaka insists he was not nervous before his Manchester United debut and says his confidence grows with every tackle for the Premier League giants.

Wan-Bissaka joined United from Crystal Palace during the close season for £50million and has impressed in his early appearances.

The England Under-21 international only became a regular at Palace last term, yet he insists there have been no nerves since the switch to the grander surroundings of Old Trafford.

Indeed, Wan-Bissaka, who has made 75 tackles in the Premier League in 2019, more than any other defender, is thriving from the support his combative displays are receiving.

"I just like to play my game, play without fear, do what I'm capable of doing," he told United's official website before facing Palace for the first time this weekend.

"Was I nervous before my debut? No. Me? I block it out. I know what nerves can do. Nerves keep you quiet.

"I'm just waiting for the game to start. I'm in the changing room, just waiting, thinking, 'Can this game hurry up and start?'

"The longer it takes, that's when the nerves could come in. So I just want to get the waiting over and done with. I just want to get into the game, get the ball as much as possible. That stops the nerves.

"Then I like to get the tackles in, because I get a lot of confidence from tackles. The fans help as well, cheering them, so, after that, I want to get into the next one, then the next one. That helps."

Further discussing his approach, Wan-Bissaka added: "I love tackles, man. I want to come out with the most tackles from each game. That's my aim.

"I'm not really happy when I come out of a game without many tackles. At the same time, when I look back at it, it doesn't mean anything negative, necessarily.

"It might mean that the winger's not confident to keep on coming at me, for me to have the chance to tackle him.

"Wingers hate it. When I was a winger, I hated being tackled. When I attempted to beat a player and he slide-tackled me, I'd just think, 'I don’t want to go down there again', and change the route, change my play."

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