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Chancel on the cover for Everton clash

Written by Tom Easterby

Chancel Mbemba is the player in focus in Wednesday’s official matchday programme for the visit of Everton.

United welcome Sam Allardyce’s side to St. James’ Park (7.45pm kick-off) and DR Congo international Mbemba will be hoping to return to the Magpies squad, having missed out on Saturday’s defeat to Leicester City.

He is the subject of Wednesday’s Big Interview, in which the 23-year-old discusses the ups and downs of the last 12 months, encompassing a difficult 2016/17 which ended with him scoring on the memorable final day of last season.

Mbemba, who began this campaign filling in at left back, also opens up about missing out on the World Cup with his country, as well as the mental strength required to force his way back into the team.

“Obviously, when I am not in the team, it hurts,” he told UNITED. “But this is the reality of football. When these things happen, you need to be very strong mentally and continue to work. The manager is the one who knows best, and who he wants to choose. He is the boss and we are behind him and support him.

“Being strong mentally is something you have from the start. I needed to be strong from the outset, when I was in Africa. You need to know that, in life, things will not always be easy, and you need to keep this in mind. Sometimes you can make mistakes, or go down the wrong road.

“But thanks to God, he gave me a strong mentality which not everyone has. But sometimes, things aren’t easy.”

Also in Wednesday’s issue, there is an entertaining interview with United’s 1960s hero Ron McGarry, who returned to St. James’ Park along with a host of former players for the club’s 125th anniversary celebrations on Saturday.

Our latest United Backstage feature sees Under-23s Performance Analyst – and former model – Haydn Rockall share his story, while Paul Joannou gives the lowdown on a boxful of recently-unearthed mementoes dating back to the start of the 20th century.

To read all of this – and much more – pick up a copy of UNITED, which will be on sale around St. James’ Park and in the club store on Wednesday, priced at just £3.

"Being strong mentally is something you have from the start. I needed to be strong from the outset, when I was in Africa. You need to know that, in life, things will not always be easy, and you need to keep this in mind."

Chancel Mbemba

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