Greening desperate for Old Trafford happy return

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The Independent Football

Jonathan Greening, the West Bromwich Albion midfielder is hoping that his return to Manchester United this Saturday does not end in relegation.

West Bromwich are in trouble after Monday night's 2-0 defeat to Arsenal at The Hawthorns, and now face a difficult trip to Old Trafford. A win for either Crystal Palace or Southampton in their match at Selhurst Park, combined with a defeat to United, will result in West Bromwich's return to the Championship.

Greening, who spent three years with United before joining Middlesbrough and eventually the West Midlands club last summer, is surprised that Bryan Robson's side are in such trouble.

"I wish I was going back to United in better circumstances," he said. "It still means a lot to me to go back there. It was a learning curve for me, and it will be good to play there again, particularly as it is one of the best stadiums in the world.

"There's certainly no better place to turn it all around," Greening added. "We will go there with nothing to lose and if we perform like we did against Arsenal and work 120 per cent, then you never know. But when I first came I didn't expect to be down here with the squad we had, and I don't think we deserve to be down near the bottom now.

"Since Christmas we have played well and we believe we are capable of being in this division. Hopefully, we can stay in and prove it next year.

"All the other teams are going to be thinking we'll get beaten, but if we can go there and put on a performance and sneak a draw or a flukey win, we will take that."

Albion will at least know exactly what they have to do as their game with United is a 5.15pm kick-off, with Greening believing it is an advantage.

"We will know the other results before we play, which is a good thing," he said. "Either way we need to get something from it, even if it's a point, so we will go there with all guns blazing.

"It would be ideal if Palace and Southampton drew. We've spoken about that, it would be perfect for us. If we then get a result and it goes to the last game of the season against Portsmouth, we will fancy our chances here, especially with the crowd behind us."

If Albion survive, they would be the first club in Premiership history to stay up after being bottom of the table at Christmas, and Greening added: "We need to try to stay up and put ourselves in the history books."

If they do retain their top-flight status, the midfielder is hoping that will be enough to persuade Kieran Richardson to remain at The Hawthorns.

The England Under-21 international, who will not face his parent club on Saturday, has been on loan from United since the end of January and has expressed his desire to return and fight for a first-team place at Old Trafford.

Greening, though, feels Richardson is wavering as he said: "We'll be fighting because we want Kieran to stay for next season. I think he is going to stay if we do stay up."