Tyler Blackett has spoken out about his upcoming return to Old Trafford after leaving for Reading back in August, admitting that beating his former side would be “very sweet.”
The Englishman rose to prominence during the early stages of the Louis van Gaal era, impressing many with his calm, composed manner in games against Swansea City, Burnley, Sunderland and Queens Park Rangers.
A red card against Leicester City put an abrupt end to Blackett’s time with the first team, and following an unsuccessful loan spell at Celtic he eventually joined Reading on a permanent deal over the summer.
Blackett, speaking ahead of the clash with Jose Mourinho’s men, expressed his desire to impose himself upon his return for the Theatre of Dreams.
“It would be very sweet, walking off the pitch at Old Trafford with a result,” he said.
“Since the draw came out I have thought about that and the other boys here have talked about it.
“There are different ways you can look at it [his departure]. In some people’s eyes it would be seen as step back. But if you are not playing regularly then maybe it is step forward for your career and development, because you are getting game time.
“The fact that Reading at the moment are up there in the Championship challenging for a place in the Premier League helps with the decision I made.”
There was a month-long period where it looked like Blackett would cement himself as a regular under van Gaal. He was, during a rocky opening period to the 2014/15 season, the side’s most unruffled presence at the back, comfortably dealing with anything that came his way and nonchalantly moving the ball into midfield.
But then came that red card during that 5-3 defeat at the Kingpower stadium. He had to wait until January – a 2-0 win over Yeovil – for his next appearance in the first team, and he looked out of sorts: positionally uncertain, immobile, seemingly bereft of confidence.
At Reading, however, he has rediscovered that unique serenity on the ball that saw him succeed during the early stages of the 2014/15 campaign, producing a series of competent displays at left-back under Jaap Stam.
United fans will be curious to see which Blackett turns up at Old Trafford on Saturday.