Manchester United manager David Moyes has described their European Champions League quarter-finals second leg tie at Bayern Munich as a cup final and urges his players to raise the bar and salvage their dwindling fortune in the ongoing season.
United visit Bayern’s Allianz Arena hoping to maintain their impressive display in the 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.
Liverpool’s win over West Ham last weekend ended the Premier League champions’ hope of retaining the title they won in Sir Alex Ferguson’s last era, and David Moyes only has the European championship to land his first piece of silverware in charge of the three-time champions.
“We have to go into this game knowing it’s a cup final for us. We want to be in the Champions League final but we have to win this cup final first,” Moyes said in his news conference in Germany.
“From that point of view we can’t leave anything [behind] on the night and make sure that we go through.”
United were well considered underdogs against the reigning European and German champions right since the draw was made, but have succeeded in restoring their confidence, following last week’s resilient display in front of the club supporters.
Moyes henceforth expects the players to take courage from such performance and their determination in last weekend’s 4-0 win at Newcastle.
“The players have to be technically good on the ball,” he added. “The players need to do better in possession, but I think we need the same spirit and same determination as the first leg to get through.
“We’ll need a very good performance from everybody. It’s a game where you won’t be able to carry any passengers. But it’s also a game everyone is really looking forward to. We’re really well prepared by beating Newcastle 4-0 at the weekend. The players are going into the game in a good frame of mind.”
United could become the second English team to reach the lat-4 of the ongoing tournament, alongside Chelsea, who beat Paris St-Germain 2-0 at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday to seal a 3-3 aggregate win and advance on away goal rule.
Such hope banks largely on their determination to shore up defence and possibly nick home an all-important away goal. Suffix it to say a loss in Munich is not an option for Moyes’ men.
“The players are ready,” the Scotsman stressed. “They know it’s a big task but it’s one we’re all relishing. It’s the sort of fixture United have always been involved in over the years and had a good record. We’re going to have to show that again.”