United will take their usual place at the top table of European soccer in the Champions League quarter-finals draw on Friday but with a slight exception that their dismal season would deprive them of their usual favourite status. (JPN/Agencies)
The Red Devils will be among familiar faces when they go into the pot with defending champions Bayern Munich and the rest of Europe's elite in the shape of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund, Chelsea, Atletico Madrid and Paris St Germain.
But unlike other seasons in the past two decades when they have paraded in with all the confidence of either champions or strong contenders, this season they are simply relieved to be just a part of the proceedings.
And of course, the other guests know all too well that United are turning up as a team in transition with new manager Moyes enduring a tough baptism after following the retired Sir Alex Ferguson into the job.
However, United’s perceived ‘underdogs’ status this time around in the CL doesn’t seem to perturb Moyes much.
Moyes said after their 3-0 win over Olympiakos, “It was a magnificent team performance. I don't want to come out and say, ‘this is the moment’, but I hope it is.”
“We have been asked a similar question before and we have not shown it. This is a work in progress and it will take time to get it as we really want it. It is a big job. We played very well and deserved our victory. I'm not feeling any pressure from inside the club... it's coming from you lot (the media),” he added.
“We know the job we have to do. It's probably bigger than I thought when I first came to the club,” he further said.
“And if we go into the last eight as the underdogs that suits me fine. We can be more than a match for anyone,” he said.
United will take their usual place at the top table of European soccer in the Champions League quarter-finals draw on Friday but with a slight exception that their dismal season would deprive them of their usual favourite status.