Football

Fenerbahce fans warned to behave ahead of United clash

Home fans warned to behave as United visit under much strain

GROUP A

FENERBAHCE v 
MANCHESTER UNITED
(Tomorrow, 2am, Singtel TV Ch 112 
& StarHub TV Ch 212)

There is always a powder keg atmosphere in the football hotbeds of Turkey and Fenerbahce is no different.

So it was no surprise when the club urged their fans to behave ahead of their Europa League clash with Manchester United tomorrow morning (Singapore time).

The Turkish side - defeated 4-1 by Jose Mourinho's men in the reverse fixture at Old Trafford last month - are stepping up security for the match in Istanbul, having been deemed "high profile" by Uefa.

Supporters of the Red Devils will be given an armed police escort to Fenerbahce's stadium.

Already under pressure after an indifferent run, Mourinho will expect a hot welcome.

Much has been made of United's 37 shots without a goal against Burnley in an EPL clash on Saturday, the failure of £89-million signing Paul Pogba to hit the ground running and the sad sight of Zlatan Ibrahimovic shorn of his confidence.

Pogba did score twice in the Old Trafford thumping of the Turkish club and he is beginning to show some improvement in his game, which will give United hope.

Feyenoord and United are level top of Group A on six points, while the Turks, led by Dick Advocaat and featuring Red Devils old boy Robin van Persie - he scored at Old Trafford - have four points.

United defender Marcos Rojo felt the Burnley game could be seen as a positive, despite the draw.

"Obviously, against City, we got the victory, and the last match, versus Burnley, we had 37 chances. A goal would have been the icing on the cake," he said.

"We are getting to the level where we can play as a team. We are playing with a great intensity, throughout the whole of the match," he said.

While criticism has grown around Mourinho, Advocaat came to his defence yesterday, describing him as an unbelievable manager but "not a magician".

The Fenerbahce manager is keen to capitalise on his counterpart's problems, but he is wary.

The Dutchman could not believe United failed to convert any of their attempts on Saturday and has no doubt it is a matter of time until Mourinho's side clicks.

"This man proved himself in all countries," the former Sunderland and Rangers boss said.

"If you see how many prizes he has won, that is almost unbelievable. He is not a magician.

"There are so many good players at United which is good on one hand and, on the other hand, it makes it difficult to find the right line-up.

"At the moment not everything is going the right way, but see how many chances they have got last Saturday.

"If you don't create chances, that's a different story but they had so many chances last Saturday it was unbelievable they did not score.

"There is no reason to be worried about the team and the manager."

Advocaat is expecting around 45,000 fans at the imposing Sukru Saracoglu Stadium.

"We always go out in a game to win. We will play so that we can stop the opponents, like United, and when we have the opportunity to attack, we will attack," the Fenerbahce boss said.

- Wire Services.

This man proved himself in all countries. If you see how many prizes he has won, that is almost unbelievable. He is not a magician... At the moment not everything is going the right way... But there is no reason to be worried about the team and the manager.


— Fenerbahce manager Dick Advocaat on Jose Mourinho (above)

 

EUROPA LEAGUEManchester United