Ryan Giggs insists United are not underdogs

David Moyes admits to ‘defensive issues’ ahead of Champions League clash with Bayern Munich

Manchester United  manager David Moyes (right) alongside midfielder  Ryan Giggs  during a press conference at Old Trafford. Photograph: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Manchester United manager David Moyes (right) alongside midfielder Ryan Giggs during a press conference at Old Trafford. Photograph: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Mon, Mar 31, 2014, 15:04

Ryan Giggs insists Manchester United do not consider themselves underdogs for Tuesday night’s Champions League quarter-final showdown with European champions Bayern Munich.

Pep Guardiola’s trophy holders meet United at Old Trafford in a match which sees the 1999 finalists go head-to-head once again. Giggs played in the famous 2-1 triumph in Barcelona 15 years ago and, although Bayern now look to be favourites to progress having won the Bundesliga at a canter while United flounder in the Premier League, he remains confident.

“Obviously Bayern are a fantastic team,” the Welsh winger told a press conference. “They’re the holders and Pep Guardiola’s taken over and added a few new players and they’re a very strong team. They’re obviously favourites in most people’s eyes but we’re Manchester United at Old Trafford and we’ve seen so many good nights there, in Europe especially.

“So as players we don’t see ourselves as underdogs, we see ourselves as Manchester United playing at home in the Champions League. We can’t wait. These are the games that you want to be involved in as a player. We’ll go out there and, yes it’s going to be tough, but we’re confident.”

United boss David Moyes echoed Giggs’s optimistic comments, having been sharply criticised by fans and media for his admission that Liverpool were favourites prior to the recent 3-0 defeat to their fierce rivals at Old Trafford.

He revealed today he has been impressed with his players’ attitude in training ahead of another high-profile game.

“We know that on our day we’re as good a side as any but we have to show it more often,” the Scot said. “I’ve got great belief in the players and I’ve said that from day one — that hasn’t changed. I get the feeling the players all want to play, I can tell that from their attitude in training. They all want to play in the big games, that’s what the players here have wanted to do over the years.”

Moyes has problems in his backline with left-back Patrice Evra suspended and fellow full-backs Rafael and Alexander Buttner now doubtful to feature thorugh injury. Rio Ferdinand, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans are only working their way back to full fitness.

“We have defensive issues, undoubtedly,” Moyes added. “I won’t be giving out my team today, certainly not to Bayern or to you (the press), but we will have to make one or two changes.”

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