Our pre-match Q&A with the Brugge boss
"I'm disappointed United had a rest as you saw the difference against Chelsea," says Brugge boss Philippe Clement...
You are top of the league in Belgium, so how confident are you heading into this Europa League tie? "Of course it is two different competitions and other budgets as well, that is logical, but my team has confidence and also out of the Champions League, where they played good games. It was a good experience because we have a young squad. It was a good experience to get points in the Champions League for the confidence of the team. But my team is looking forward to this game. Why? Because in our league, now, all of the teams adapt to us, they defend more than they attack, so they are looking forward to facing a team who wants to create something for themselves. It will be an open battle and that is nice to watch." You mention the Champions League and the experience of playing Real Madrid and PSG this season. How important could that be against United? "It is always important of course. It will not change much, but it is important to have this confidence and that everything is possible on a day when everything goes your way as well. We are going to enjoy these two games and try to get the maximum out of them. We are realistic. We know that Manchester has much more quality than we have, but in football you never know." What do you make of this current Manchester United team? "I am disappointed that they get this rest for two weeks because you saw the difference in the game against Chelsea, when they played with a lot of energy and a lot of will. They were struggling at the beginning of the season, but we have seen in the last couple of weeks that if you can win at Manchester City and win at Chelsea then you have a good squad, and a good team, so we know we will face a very good team." Your team is always favourites to win in Belgium, but it must be slightly different when United come to town? "Of course it is totally different, but it is something my players are looking forward to because it is not nice to have this man-marking against us in every game, like a lot of teams are playing now. TO play against a defence of 10 players in their own box, all of the team, just waiting for one or two counter attacks per game, it is not so nice football, so my football players are looking forward to a real game with two teams who are trying to score goals." Finally, you played in England for a season in Coventry back in 1998/99. Do you have good memories of that? "Yes, I had a very good time there. I got injured and I wanted to come back to play for the national team here. I had a really good time there, yes, and I enjoyed living in England as well. I never faced United as a player, but as an assistant coach a few years ago here with Brugge. This will be a new experience again and we are looking forward to it."