Ander Herrera believes Manchester United, backed by the “best fans in England”, can overturn their Europa League deficit against Liverpool.
Goals from Daniel Sturridge and Roberto Firmino have put the Reds firmly in the driving seat to reach the quarter-finals, but the 26-year-old midfielder believes the tie is not completely over.
“Since I was here at Manchester United, we have played five times against them and won four times,” the Spanish midfielder said.
“Two times we have played them at home – we won clearly. I think we were the better team, so I think we have very good examples of the way we have to play.
“When we play at home we feel stronger. You talk about the atmosphere when we played there, but we have more fans at home, the capacity is bigger and our fans for me and for (Van Gaal) – he has told that a few times – are the best in England.
“When we play away they are fantastic, at home they also support us whether we are good or bad, so they will be very important tomorrow.
However, Herrera was quick to add that the Red Devils still have to cautious in their approach, admitting that it will be difficult for them to progress should Liverpool score the first goal at Old Trafford to extend their lead on aggregate to 3-0.
“We cannot go crazy, ” said Herrera. “We have to score the first goal, not concede in a game of 45 minutes and then it’s another game of 45 minutes.
“It’s very important to not concede because we are going to create chances.
“We are putting a lot of crosses into the box, we always have players in the box and we want to make it a very difficult night for them.
“We are Man United and if they want to go to the quarter-finals they are going to have to fight a lot.”
Herrera put up an impressive display of strength at the pre-match press conference – so much so that manager Van Gaal congratulated him at the end, saying “well done, son”.
The 26-year-old’s belief in United’s ability to overturn the two-goal deficit seemed genuine, as did his anger at suggestions the team lacked fight and desire at Anfield.
“We always fight, we always have the desire to win, we always wants to win,” Herrera said.
“Every game is different. Liverpool are in very good form, but you can never say that we don’t want to win or fight.