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'Others have to stand up' - Blind backs Man Utd to cope without Ibrahimovic

1:25 PM IST 10/03/17
Daley Blind Manchester United Sunderland
The Red Devils are set to be without their enigmatic striker for three domestic fixtures, but his absence is considered to a positive in some ways

Daley Blind believes rotation will make Manchester United “stronger and stronger” suggesting that there is no reason to believe that the absence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic will trouble them.

The Red Devils are set to lose their enigmatic striker for three games as a result of a suspension handed out by the Football Association.

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Ibrahimovic has been punished for elbowing Bournemouth defender Tyrone Mings during a recent Premier League outing at Old Trafford.

He is still available for continental fixtures and figured in Thursday’s 1-1 draw with Rostov in the first leg of a Europa League last 16 showdown.

Jose Mourinho will, however, be without his top scorer for a FA Cup clash with Chelsea, as well as league outings against Middlesbrough and West Brom.

Blind concedes that the 35-year-old will be missed, as a talismanic presence in the squad, but believes others will step up in his place and that rest time at this stage of the season is no bad thing.

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He told BT Sport after United’s draw in Russia: "Zlatan is of course a very important player for us.

"Other players have to stand up, that's how it is.

"I think you make players better as well if there's more competition in the group.

"So if there's rotation at this level it only makes the team stronger and stronger.

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"I think that's why we can cope with every game."

United travel to Stamford Bridge on Monday for a FA Cup quarter-final meeting with Chelsea and Mourinho will need to shuffle his pack against former employers to cover the loss of Ibrahimovic.