Ashley Young has urged his Manchester United teammates to carry the feel-good factor from an impressive performance against Bayern Munich into their clash with Newcastle on Saturday.
David Moyes’ side held their own against Champions League holders Bayern on Tuesday as they ground out a 1-1 draw that keeps them in with a chance of progressing to the last four.
After a traumatic season at Old Trafford, the possibility of salvaging some pride has lifted spirits and England winger Young is hopeful his side can maintain that upbeat mood when they return to domestic action at St James’ Park.
“We’ve got to keep the momentum going,” Young said. “We want to take three points from the weekend into the second leg against Bayern and then see how things go.
“I can’t wait to go to Munich, we’ve given ourselves a massive chance.
“We’re in with a great shout, and as long as we add to the performance we gave at Old Trafford, hopefully we can go through.”
United’s veteran midfielder Ryan Giggs has been a much-needed steadying influence of late and team-mate Rafael da Silva insists he remains one of the club’s most dangerous attacking players despite his advancing years.
The 40-year-old Welshman has combined a coaching role with playing at Old Trafford this season, and Moyes has been selective when using the midfielder.
Giggs has featured 21 times for United so far this campaign, but according to Rafael he still frightens opposition defences.
“Ryan is still hard to defend against,” Rafael said.
“He is still an incredible dribbler of the ball, cutting in and out, and it’s hard to work out what he is going to do.”
United are hopeful Giggs will be available to face Newcastle after he was substituted during the Bayern match with a groin problem.
Moyes’ men are set to be without striker Robin van Persie, who continues to recover from a knee injury, while there are doubts over defenders Jonny Evans (calf) and Chris Smalling (hamstring).
Rafael should also be fit enough to return against Newcastle after he missed the game against Bayern with a hamstring problem.