Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Hecking keen to pile pressure on Manchester United

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 29 Sep 2015

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Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking wants his side to turn the screw on Manchester United by claiming a win at Old Trafford in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Louis van Gaal’s United were beaten 2-1 by PSV in their Group B opener while Wolfsburg came out 1-0 winners against CSKA Moscow.

Hecking’s side finished runners-up in the German top flight last season while also claiming the DFB-Pokal but have had a mixed start to their domestic campaign this term – sitting fourth with only three wins from seven outings.

However, Hecking called on Wolfsburg to make life difficult for Van Gaal’s men – who he had considered as favourites to top the group.

“The Champions League and Bundesliga are two distinct competitions. Obviously they lost their first game and that will build pressure but I think they’re more than capable of dealing with that,” he told reporters.

“It’s up to us to build the pressure on them even more. It comes down to individuals and how they react, but that’s not at the forefront of my mind.

“It’s my first visit to Old Trafford and it could have an effect but that’s not my first priority. It’s about how we play tomorrow night and proving Wolfsburg are a very good team.

“They were the favourites from the start, but you see favourites can stumble. After the draw I’d have said United would be top and the rest would fight for second but the defeat in Eindhoven has made things more interesting and there is more to play for.”

United are back in the Champions League after a season’s absence and boast vast experience in Europe compared to their German counterparts.

“I don’t know about the significance [of experience] but every Champions League game is a challenge,” Hecking added.

“We’ve done well with a win in the first game against CSKA and we must build on that tomorrow. We have to put in a team performance and then maybe you can ask me afterwards what it feels like [to play at Old Trafford].

“I think people have been over-critical of us. We obviously had the 5-1 defeat to Bayern and the draw with Hannover, but we’ve done okay and brought in new players like [Max] Kruse. We just have to go out and perform on the pitch, starting tomorrow.

“We’re facing a very good team in United tomorrow and most people will expect a home win. But we’re still in a good position in both the Bundesliga and the Champions League so there are plenty of chances to put things right.”

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