Striker Bruno Fernandes’ role will be crucial when Manchester United face Sevilla in the semi-finals of the Europa League here on Sunday.
Aware that a big task lies ahead of him, Fernandes stressed that his team needs to have the “right mindset and strong mentality” versus a consistent side like Sevilla.
“The most important thing is having the right mindset and a strong mentality. We need to understand that every game is a knockout match — if we don’t win, we’re out,” Fernandes was quoted as saying by the Uefa website.
“In the quarter final against Copenhagen, we started a bit nervously because we knew had to start really strong, since the match was about winning or being knocked out.”
A good start to the game will also be very important for United, Fernandes added.
“Sevilla are a team that are used to this kind of European tournament and the latter stages of the competition. We know that the start of the match is going to be very important because the first few minutes are crucial,” he emphasised.
Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui too sounded cautious ahead of the clash. “This is one of the best Manchester United teams of recent years,” he said.
“They have top quality players that have achieved excellent results. There are few teams in the world like Manchester United, as a club and with the quality of players they have. This is the semi-finals of the Europa League and the only thing that concerns us is the ambition, excitement and will to compete and beat really good opponents.”
Winger-turned-fullback Jesus Navas feels Sevilla need to be clear about what they need to do to get a favourable result. “We know United are tough opponents and it’ll be difficult. We’re clear about what we have to do and are focused on what we have to do at every stage of the game.
“They’ve got some quick players up at the top who are dangerous. But we’re focusing on ourselves,” he said.