‘You can’t make mistakes’: Former Man Utd star Mikael Silvestre on club’s opening fixture challenges

The former Manchester United defender has shared his thoughts on the club’s fixtures next season.

Manchester United will welcome Brighton & Hove Albion to Old Trafford on the opening day of the 2022-23 Premier League season.

The fixture will be the Red Devils’ first competitive game with Erik ten Hag as their manager after he joined from Ajax in May.

Sign up to our ManchesterWorld Today newsletter

United also discovered they will meet bitter rivals Liverpool at the Theatre of Dreams on 20 August - a fixture they’ll be looking to avenge after a 5-0 drubbing by Jurgen Klopp’s side at the stadium in the last campaign.

Former Red Devils defender Mikael Silvestre believes Ten Hag’s men need to avoid making mistakes in their opening games, especially against Liverpool.

“It’s a gentle start. I’m quite happy with the opening fixtures, but you can’t afford to make mistakes to begin with,” he told Sky Sports News.

“If you want to make a statement to show a different side, different attitude, this [Liverpool match] is the game where you want to shine as a manager as a team, it will be important for Ten Hag to have everybody onside with him. It will be a new dynamic, a fresh start.”

United had a season to forget last time out with the club finishing sixth in the table with 58 points - their lowest in Premier League history.

However, with Ten Hag’s arrival, the Red Devils fan base will be hoping for a top four finish under the 52-year-old, while Silvestre thinks they should be aiming higher.

Frenkie De Jong is rumoured to be United’s main target in the market. Credit: Getty.

“To finish top three,” Silvestre said when asked where United should aim to finish in the new campaign.

“You have to be on the podium. You have to aim for the top spot. I know it’s not realistic but you have to aim high, and put it in your head.”

Ten Hag will be looking to use the summer transfer market to bolster his squad ahead of the 7 August opener against Brighton, especially with five first team players departing Old Trafford at the end of the month.

United have been linked with both Frenkie de Jong and Cristian Eriksen, both of whom Silvestre rates highly.

“They are wonderful players,” he said.

“De Jong has been great since his start at Ajax. For Eriksen, it is an unbelievable story what he’s done since coming back for Brentford.

“It’s about getting the deals done, that’s another matter.”