The German side’s boss expects Louis van Gaal’s men to give his players an early examination in their Champions League clash at Old Trafford
By Kris Voakes at Old Trafford
Dieter Hecking stressed Wolfsburg must keep a close eye on Anthony Martial, Memphis Depay, Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata if they are to defeat Manchester United at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
The German outfit go into the Champions League Group B clash with three points to their name after beating CSKA Moscow in their opening fixture, while group favourites United lost 2-1 against PSV in Eindhoven.
But Hecking believes United’s defeat will only make them more dangerous, and agrees that they are likely to be more eager to make a fast start at Old Trafford.
“Certainly you’d expect that they would start fast given their last game, but I also know Louis van Gaal likes to focus on a possession game,” Hecking told a pre-match press conference.
“Against Southampton they made 60 passes but didn’t get near the goal, but then they also have quality in attack like Martial, Depay, Rooney and Mata. They are very dangerous.”
It is Hecking’s first visit to the stadium colloquially referred to as the ‘Theatre of Dreams’, but he insists that whatever the atmosphere he is only concentrating on the game itself.
“I don’t have dreams, I prefer reality! But a win would be nice, and I hope we can do well tomorrow night,” he added.
“I don’t know if there is any extra significance in playing here but every Champions League game is a challenge. We’ve done well with a win in the first game against CSKA Moscow and we must build on that on Wednesday. We have to put in a team performance and then maybe you can ask me afterwards what it feels like.
The 51-year-old led his side to second place in the Bundesliga last season but have fallen nine points behind leaders Bayern Munich after just seven games of the current campaign. However, Hecking insists Wolfsburg are reasonably well positioned, especially in light of a large squad turnover this summer.
“I think people have been over-critical of us. We obviously had the 5-1 defeat to Bayern Munich and the draw with Hannover, but we’ve done ok and brought in new players like Max Kruse. We just have to go out and perform on the pitch, starting tomorrow.
“We’re facing a very good team in United tomorrow, and most people will expect a home win. But we’re still in a good position in both the Bundesliga and the Champions League so there are plenty of chances to put things right.”