TOURNAMENT – Champions League
MATCH – Bayern Munich (Away) at The Allianz Arena
DATE & TIME – 9th April 2014, 18:45 GMT (10th April 2014, 00:15 IST)
Pre-Match Press Conference Transcript of David Moyes
Q. So David, what are your thoughts on tomorrow’s game?
Moyes: Really looking forward to the game – second leg, quarterfinal of the Champions League, with the opportunity to try and reach the semifinal! Its a massive game, one which all the players are looking forward to, and we’ll do everything we can to reach the semifinal.
Q. David, is this your hardest test as a manager? If you were to win it, would it be your greatest ever victory?
Moyes: Yeah, it’s the hardest task because of the level of the opposition, level of the competition and the stage of the competition – means that of course it’s the hardest game. And there’s a lot of top players on show from both sides. But, I’ll do everything I possibly can to help the players get a result on the night.
Q. How much of a boost was it that Wayne was able to train?
Moyes: Yeah, he was able to train. He’s massively keen to be involved. But he’s not trained all week – so we need to be wary of that but we’ll do everything we possibly can. He’s happy to take an injection to play in the game which, I think, it shows you his feeling about the game, about the club and, we need him as well – he’s a really important player to the team.
Q. David, you’re strategy worked very well in the opening leg at Old Trafford. Can we expect a similar approach maybe tomorrow evening?
Moyes: Well, I’d like to have more possession, I’d like to have more of the ball. I’d like to have a bigger effect in the game – and my plans will be to do that. But they were also my plans in the first game as well – the quality of Bayern at times was very good. And you also have to respect your opponents, and on the night, they did some good things. But, I expect us to play better than we did in the first leg, and I believe we can play better than we did in the first leg. And to get through, we probably will, as well.
Q. David, getting through, and getting to the final is the way that your players can play in the Champions League next season. When you look at them, do you sense that they want to hold onto this level of football for another year?
Moyes: Well, I think the Champions League is a competition all sides are trying to achieve – by reaching it. And it’s no different at United. I think its a competition – we’ve been one of the most successful in Europe, and its a competition we want to try and continue in. It’s a difficult ask through our league position this year, but we’ll try and do it any way we can.
Q. David, in the first leg, Vidic and Rio Ferdinand were outstanding for you. Can you emphasize how much their experience means in these sort of games for you?
Moyes: Well, 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 that everybody’s really looking forward to, all the players are prepared for it. We prepared well for this game by beating Aston Vil… (smiles) by beating Newcastle at the weekend, I should say. And I feel that the players are going into the game in a good frame of mind. We’ve given ourselves every opportunity – we’ve done all we can to prepare for the game. So, we have to go into this game knowing that its a cup final for us. We want to be in the Champions League final, but first of all we’ve got to win this final, which is the second leg tie against Munich and from that point of view, we can’t leave anything at all. We have to make sure we go through on the night.
Q. David, what kind of statement do you think it would make about this football club, which has had criticism this season, if you were to beat the champions and go through to the semifinal. And secondly, if you weren’t to, and it was to be the Europa League next year, would you embrace that competition as well?
Moyes: Well, I think the only thing my focus has been towards is getting through in this game. I think to talk about things that have gone on – the league or anything else that’s happened – I think it would be better just looking forward to this game and preparing for it. And I think we have done as well – we’ve got the players ready and focused on this one. They know the job at hand is a big task, but I think it’s one that we’re all relishing. I think it’s the sort of game that United over the years have been involved in and had a good record. And we’re going to have to try and do that again.
Q. David, what’s the actual injury that Wayne’s got? What did the scans show? Is there any long term danger by giving him this injection, potentially?
Moyes: Well, we think it’s okay because we wouldn’t do anything wrong or we wouldn’t do anything ‘medically’ wrong. We take the advice from our doctors and the people who advise us. Wayne – everybody knows the character he is, they know the type of player he is and he’s determined to play. And if he’s determined, well, we’d be mad not to give him the opportunity to do so.
Q. David, how does it affect your tactical approach to the game when you know you have to score, otherwise you’re out?
Moyes: Well, it doesn’t alter an awful lot. Because if Bayern score, we need to score one goal as well. So our tactical approach would have been the same – we’re going to go in there and we’re going to try to win the game, it has to be. But we have to do that from a technically good position – the players I should say, they have to be technically good on the ball. We need to do better than we did in the first leg with the ball when we have it. But I do think we need the same spirit, the same determination to make sure that we get ourselves a good position.
Q. David, for all of Bayern’s reputation, three of our big four – what we call our big four – have won here in the last 20 months, one in the final. Can this have any bearing upon this or not?
Moyes: Well, I think that will be something that will be more in Bayern’s mind that the English teams have come here and have quite a good record. And they’ll have that doubt in their mind. Obviously, they’re European Champions but they also have a question mark about the games they’ve had to play here against the English sides. So, we’ll try and use it to our advantage. But, we all need to play well. We know we all need to be very good tomorrow night, and our aim is to try and do that.
Pre-Match Press Conference Transcript of Darren Fletcher
Q. You’ve obviously had your disappointments, Darren, in this competition – three finals, and you didn’t play in any of them. You’ve got a personal incentive to keep going – I know that’s not your main priority, but it is particularly important to you, isn’t it?
Fletcher: Yeah, of course. For whatever reasons, I’ve not managed to play in a final. I’ve just spoken about getting to three different circumstances have prevented me from that. Its been a dream of mine since I was a small boy, to play in the Champions League final. So, a win tomorrow night obviously takes us into the semifinals and gets us closer to achieving that. But, its more important the club and the team get there, rather than the individuals. When the team, or if we do get there, then you do your best in the games, and you hope that you’re selected. As I said before, the most important thing for us is to win tomorrow night and get ourselves in the semi finals and then, we’ll take it from there.
Q. Darren, you played in this game in 2010 when you took the lead and lost with Wayne being injured. Do you look back on that tie as a missed opportunity? Because if you’d gone through to the semifinal, you could have gone to the finals.
Fletcher: Yeah, massively – it’s a big disappointment looking back because there was nothing in the game out here. We lost two late goals, quite sloppy. And then after dominating the second leg, we were unfortunate to go out, I think. Circumstances weren’t with us on the night after a great first half performance. So yeah, there is regret but there’s regret everytime you lose in the Champions League. But, I think that’s one that I look back on and think, that was a real missed opportunity because how well we played over the two legs.