Man Utd hoping to turn season around following Olympiakos win
Manchester United have had a tough go this season; their first without Sir Alex Ferguson at the helm in ages, and the season looked to be categorically lost. Until Wednesday, when Robin van Persie produced a hat-trick to turn the tie around and give the Red Devils a 3-2 aggregate win over Greek Champions Olympiakos.
United couldn't have mustered a better response to their 3-0 drubbing at home to Liverpool, and many within the camp see that win as springboard to something of note. Boss David Moyes, believes that United can win Europe's top club competition for a fourth time.
When asked if his squad could reign victorious in Lisbon in a couple months, Moyes said: “I hope so. We will probably go into the quarterfinal tie as underdogs but I don’t see why not. This football club is capable of it. If we play to our capabilities, which we've not shown that often this season, I think we can be a match for any team."
“This club has history in the competition. It knows what to do at this stage. We’re not shocked to be in the quarterfinals -- it's something we do regularly. We will try to get into the last four now," he added.
Striker Wayne Rooney believes this win could be the start of something, and again heaped praise on United's supporters.
"Of course we did and we owed ourselves a good result," Rooney said to Sky Sports. "Our fans, the manager, everyone [deserved a performance]. This is a great result and hopefully it can kick-start our season and be the start of something really special."
"It was just the desire to win," he continued. "They support of our fans has been fantastic. Against Liverpool [last Sunday] they were fantastic. They were fantastic again [against Olympiakos] and we're delighted for them. This can be the start our season. Hopefully this is the start of something really special."
Defender Phil Jones also recognized how special the night was given their current season. He emphasized the squad's togetherness, and like Rooney and Moyes, hoped the win could push United on.
“We let ourselves down on Sunday, we know that and hopefully we gave the fans something to smile about," Jones said. "We have all had criticism. We’re in it together. We’re a team, the manager and the staff, and we’ve got to band together and come through this difficult period, and we will do."
“It was a huge night. We knew the objective was to go and score three goals and not concede, and we’ve done that. We have to use this as an impetus to go and prove that we can win game after game. Now hopefully we can kick on," he added.
United have big matches forthcoming. Away to West Ham at the weekend might not rank quite up there, but hosting Manchester City three days later surely does. The Red Devils will also be interested in today's Champions League quarter-final draw. Only tough teams remain, but when you're one of eight teams standing and you're linked with Xherdan Shaqiri, it's a good day even if it has been a tough season.