Ryan Giggs: You can make a difference
Ryan Giggs says home advantage gives United a solid foundation from which to secure a Champions League quarter-final spot when the Reds take on Marseille tonight - and he says the support of fans inside Old Trafford could be crucial.
United are unbeaten at home in all competitions since the loss to Chelsea in the league on 3 April 2010, which is reason to be optimistic as Sir Alex’s men head into a precariously balanced last 16 tie against Didier Deschamps’ side.
“It’s a sticky result, 0-0 away from home,” says Giggs, with an air of caution about the first-leg result at the Stade Velodrome. “We didn’t get an away goal, which is sometimes so important. Then again, we back ourselves to beat anyone at Old Trafford.
“Marseille were solid in the first leg. They didn't risk anything. They were probably afraid to concede an away goal and we didn't get into our rhythm like we know we can. The pitch was a bit bobbly so our passing wasn't as crisp. The tempo wasn't what Manchester United are used to. We weren’t brilliant going forward but we defended well as a team. It wasn't the best of games. But hopefully tonight is better and we create a lot more chances.
“It’s going to be tough – it’s the Champions League - knowing that if they score an away goal we have to get two. That’s a lifeline for them, even if they go one-nil down. We need to try and score and then pile on the goals to negate the away goal.
"We experience away from home in Europe what a big difference the fans can make. If the opposition are playing good football and their fans are behind them it is tough. It’s what we hope it will be like for Marseille tonight. On a European night at Old Trafford, when we are playing well and the fans are behind us, we are very difficult to stop.”
The incentives to remain in the competition are obvious and plenty, but this season’s tournament has got Giggs more excited than usual. “It’s been an exciting round of games. Tottenham managed to get through, Arsenal and Barcelona played some great stuff. It’s looking to be a good competition. It’s looking strong. It is great for the fans.”