Paul Scholes excited by season run-in with Manchester United
Paul Scholes views the resumption of the Champions League as the beginning of the end for Manchester United this season.
Although United are not in action this week, the resumption of hostilities across Europe, including tonight's mouthwatering clash between Arsenal and Barcelona at the Emirates Stadium, marks the emergence from the depths of winter.
And for Scholes, it is also the start of a run-in to what he hopes will be a glorious end to the season.
"It's the sign for the run-in," said the veteran midfielder.
"It just kind of happens without you knowing it. You know there are 12 games left in the league, the FA Cup is getting down to the latter stages and Europe is starting again.
"Every game becomes more important. It is the time to stand up and start playing."
United could not have made a better start, securing a derby-day victory over Manchester City at Old Trafford.
As that result - and Chelsea's failure to overcome Fulham at Craven Cottage on Monday - have virtually turned the title race into a straight fight between United and Arsenal, the Red Devils could do with Arsene Wenger's men coming out on top in north London this evening.
On the basis that the more matches Arsenal have to play, the less likely they are able to eat into United's four-point advantage at the top of the table, it will presumably be the same on Sunday, when the Gunners make a short journey to Leyton Orient in the FA Cup.
However, Scholes only has eyes for non-league Crawley, and then Didier Deschamps' Marseille, who stand between United and a place in the quarter-finals, where they lost in agonising fashion to Bayern Munich last season.
"Marseille won't be easy," he said.
"It's a tough place. We played there before quite a few years ago and got beaten.
"But we are looking forward to it. Hopefully it is the start of a good end to the season for us and we can go all the way to the final again and win it."
Latest in Sport
Don't mess with me, Diego Costa warns Manchester City ahead of Chelsea clash
Florida State quarter-back Jameis Winston suspended for half-a-game for yelling 'F*** her right in the p****'
West Ham vs Liverpool match report: Reds are caught cold by hot Hammers
Aston Villa vs Arsenal team news: Alexis Sanchez incorrectly named in starting line-up as Alex Oxlade-Chamerlain called up to start
West Ham vs Liverpool player ratings: Winston Reid? Diafra Sakho? Who rated highest from the Hammers' victory?
- 1 Scottish referendum: So how about the English now being given a chance to split from England?
- 4 Matthew Miller: American sentenced to hard labour in North Korea 'wanted to be Snowden II'
- 5 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'