Manchester United must not be daunted by Real Madrid, says Jonny Evans
Manchester United play at the Bernabeu tomorrow
Tuesday 12 February 2013
Jonny Evans does not feel Manchester United have any reason to feel inferior when they tackle Real Madrid tomorrow.
The 10-times European Cup winners are a formidable outfit at the Bernabeu.
Real are 33 matches undefeated on home soil since they were beaten by Barcelona in 2012 and in four meetings with United at one of world football's citadels the worst they have done is draw twice.
However, Evans does not view that as an excuse to fret.
After all, United are now within touching distance of a record 20th league title and their record of three Champions League finals in the last five seasons far exceeds Real's record over the same period, which includes just two semi-final appearances.
"We can't be daunted," said the Northern Ireland defender.
"We are Manchester United. Teams look up to us as well.
"I am sure the same pressures will be on them. They have good players who can hurt you but we play against Premier League opposition every week and that is one of the best leagues in the world.
"It is just as if we were playing against Manchester City or Liverpool. They are top players and we have to be spot on."
Sir Alex Ferguson has already had one gripe at the fixture list given Real were afforded an extra day's preparation time.
If he has checked the calendar, he will have even more to moan about should United go through as the fixture that splits a back-to-back quarter-final is the little matter of an Old Trafford Manchester derby.
With a very winnable home FA Cup fifth round tie with Reading to come on Monday, there is no rest looming for the Red Devils.
Not that Evans is too concerned.
"In my first season after coming back from loan at Sunderland we won the Carling Cup, the league and got to the Champions League final," he said.
"At the time I never thought there were so many games because you generate momentum.
"This season we came through Christmas brilliantly, which is down to the manager being able to rotate the squad and having the confidence in all the players so they don't feel as though they are fatiguing."
As Jose Mourinho said on Sunday, it is a fixture "the world is waiting for".
It will be a new experience for Evans. Although, whilst he has never played in the Bernabeu, he has been to watch a game, against Valencia with his family when he was just a teenager.
"I was about 15," he said.
"The galacticos were playing and I remember thinking what a fantastic stadium it was.
"The atmosphere was superb and I am sure it will be something similar.
"Those are the nights you relish, although it is a weird feeling.
"We probably take it for granted and don't get to appreciate it at the time."
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