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United Europa League final win against Ajax would 'pull Manchester together'

May 24, 2017 4:42 AM
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United Europa League final win against Ajax would 'pull Manchester together'

Manchester United fans in Stockholm have told Newsbeat they want the club to win the Europa League final to pull the city together.

At least 22 people are dead and 59 hurt after an explosion at the Manchester Arena on Monday night.

The Premier League club, who face Ajax in the Swedish capital, cancelled their pre-match news conference as a mark of respect.

"We are all very sad about the tragic events," said manager Jose Mourinho.

"We can't take out of our minds and our hearts the victims and their families."

The tragic events were clearly on supporters' minds too as they started to arrive in Stockholm.

"It is massive what has happened in Manchester and we want to win it for the victims," says Brad.

"I don't think it will play on the players' minds too much, but I hope they can pull together and bring the trophy home for the city.

United's players held a minute's silence at training on Tuesday, and the club closed its megastore and museum.

A tribute is also expected ahead of the Europa League final at the Friends Arena, Sweden's national football stadium.

"I think it will work in a positive way for the team and the city," says Adam Davies.

The 29-year-old is a Manchester United season ticket holder and has travelled to Sweden with his brother, John.

"I think they will all get behind each other but I also think it will play on their minds, like it did with Dortmund."

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Last month, a bus carrying the Borussia Dortmund team was hit by three explosions.

Their Champions League quarter-final match against Monaco was rearranged and they eventually lost the tie.

"That was a bit different because it was the actual team involved," adds John.

"I do expect the Manchester-born lads to step up though because they will know exactly what this means for the city."

Stockholm, full of small and bustling streets, knows only too well about coming under attack.

European football's governing body says security for the Europa League final was stepped up in the aftermath of that attack.

But Uefa adds there is "currently no specific intelligence" to suggest the final may be targeted.

However, they're warning fans to arrive in plenty of time to get through security checks at the stadium.

"Football comes second when it's something like this," says Steve Boyd.

His friend, Scott Fletcher, adds: "There will be an eerie atmosphere around the game I think because a lot of the people coming here are going to know people affected.

"I hope the team can do the victims justice and bring the city together."

Source: bbc.co.uk

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