By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Juan Mata has called on Manchester United fans to create a wall of sound as the team attempt to overturn a two-goal deficit in their Europa League clash against Liverpool.
The United playmaker has identified an intimidating Old Trafford atmosphere and a strong start from the home side as two key ingredients needed to mount a famous comeback.
Liverpool travel to Manchester on Thursday with a 2-0 lead from the first leg at Anfield last week, when they totally dominated Louis van Gaal’s side.
Writing in his weekly blog, Mata said: “We need to have a good start on Thursday, with intensity. It’s like a final for us. We need a comeback and I’m sure that the atmosphere in Old Trafford will take us closer to that goal. I’m sure it’s possible.”
United, who remain in the FA Cup after coming from a goal down to draw 1-1 against West Ham on Sunday, have a pivotal week in which they also travel to rivals Manchester City on Sunday as they bid to keep their hopes of a top-four Premier League finish alive.
Mata added: “Playing Liverpool and Manchester City is always special for us and for our fans. On top of that, we will do it in just four days according to the calendar.
“There’s a very important week ahead: we have the chance to overcome the score of the Europa League first leg and to shorten the gap with one of our rivals in the Premier League.
“As from today, we are absolutely focused on having two successful games, although the task is not easy and we are aware of that. We must bring back the spirit of the big games and show that we still have the opportunity to lift trophies.
“Besides, after Anthony’s late goal, we still have the chance to go to Wembley and try to win the FA Cup.”
In other Manchester United news, Jose Mourinho has dropped a new hint about when he expects to start his next management job.