PSV head coach Phillip Cocu says his side will show no fear of Manchester United in Tuesday’s Champions League encounter.
Louis van Gaal’s side are heavy favourites to finish top of a group consisting of the Dutch champions, Wolfsburg and CSKA Moscow, with their 3-1 win over Liverpool on Saturday providing a welcome morale boost.
However, Cocu’s side disposed of Cambuur in a 6-0 thrashing over the weekend and the former Netherlands midfielder has warned they are determined to show their quality.
“I think we should respect each opponent, but we are not afraid of Manchester United,” he said. “We have no intention of throwing in the towel before we even get started. On the contrary, we want to make the most of this opportunity.
“These are the kinds of games everybody is really looking forward to. It was the same for me back in the days. We might have to slow down some of the players rather than motivate them. I think it is very important that everybody keeps a cool head. You have to remain focused. Details will be decisive.
“We are not going into the game thinking that we are likely to lose. That’s a negative approach. Our goal is to bag the full three points here, but we cannot afford to be naive.”
Cocu – who confirmed Adam Maher will not be fit for the clash – also paid tribute to Van Gaal, who coached him during his spell at Barcelona.
“We worked together in the national team and at Barcelona as my coach. He made me a better coach, with the tactical skills, the way he worked with the team,” he said. “Since I became a coach we sometimes met but we didn’t speak about how we play the game.”
Cocu has also backed Memphis Depay to be a success at Manchester United as the Netherlands winger prepares to face his former club.
“I think each player will need some time to get used to a certain league like the Premier League, and I’m not surprised he has some ups and downs,” he added.
“I’m sure when he’s played a few months he’ll get better and better, I’m convinced.”