Ben Amos claimed yesterday that Manchester United's ruthless streak helped them avoid another humiliating result after they breezed into the quarter-finals of the Carling Cup.
Reserve goalkeeper Amos was given another League Cup run-out at Aldershot on Tuesday night as Sir Alex Ferguson changed his entire starting XI following Sunday's derby drubbing by Manchester City.
Amos was a mere spectator for the majority of a game United won 3-0 but was made to work late on to keep a clean sheet. Indeed, unlike the club's new No 1 David de Gea, the 21-year-old has yet to concede a goal this season having also enjoyed a shut-out in the previous round at Leeds.
But Amos insisted the credit for that lay at the feet of United's strike force, who killed off yesterday's contest shortly after half-time. "If you're not switched on, these games can go horribly wrong," Amos told United's TV channel.
"Concentration is vital and you need to be ruthless in the box and put your chances away. We wanted to kill them off early doors and we did it with some nice goals."
While virtually everything that could go wrong did go wrong in United's 6-1 defeat to City, Tuesday night went almost entirely according to plan – as it did in last month's 3-0 victory at Leeds.
"Our aim was to control the game at our tempo like we did at Elland Road," Amos said. "If you give the home team even a bit of encouragement, especially in a tight ground like this, the crowd get behind them and get on your back."
Aldershot twice went close late on to snatching a consolation but Amos produced an excellent save from Luke Gutteridge's free-kick. "Obviously, it was good to get the save at the end, to show what I can do," Amos said.
"But I didn't have a lot to do, just distribution and tidying things up. That's one of the biggest things about being a goalkeeper for Manchester United – you can have nothing to do all game and then, when the one thing you need to do comes along, you've got to do it well and keep it out. That's my job, to keep a clean sheet and I think everyone's happy."
Amos might have been helpless had a stunning solo effort from Jermaine McGlashan been on target while it was still only 1-0. The pacey winger was arguably the pick of Aldershot's players and went close to levelling when his jinking run and shot whistled over the United crossbar. McGlashan said: "If that went in, some story that would've been. The fans deserved that goal. We worked our socks off to give them something to cheer about.
"Every time I got the ball, I just wanted to be positive and ask them a question."
McGlashan, who was up against the United youngster Ezekiel Fryers, added: "I just wanted to get at him and express myself, and we just wanted to take the game to them. Unfortunately, we conceded a couple but we kept on going.
"The fans stayed behind us, they were our 12th man, and that made a big difference."
Indeed, Aldershot might have been well beaten but the home supporters at the packed 7,300-capacity EBB Stadium came up trumps against the small pocket of away fans. "Some of those chants at times were unbelievable," McGlashan added. "Even when we were losing 2-0, 3-0, they shut the United fans up. I think they enjoyed themselves. It's gone down in history and they'll never forget it."
McGlashan, who left the field wearing Fabio's shirt and with compliments from Tom Cleverley ringing in his ears, knows there will be a fraction of that support at their League Two match with Crewe Alexandra this weekend. "We've got our bread and butter coming on Saturday," he said.