Erik ten Hag picked the brain of Sir Alex Ferguson ahead of the huge Europa League clash against Barcelona, when the Man Utd boss believes his team need to produce their best performance of the season.
A week on from the chaotic 2-2 draw in Catalunya, the European heavyweights go toe-to-toe in the return leg of the knockout round play-off at a packed, rocking Old Trafford on Thursday evening.
“It’s not about credit, it’s about trophies,” Ten Hag said of the progress his side have made since he took over at a low ebb in the summer.
“We have the opportunity (on Sunday) but the first focus point is always the next game and in that league we can’t win the (Europa League) trophy this week.
“We are sure when you face such big teams as Barcelona you have to play your best otherwise you don’t have a chance.
“We want to get through, to go to the next round, so, really, tomorrow, really, we have to give the best performance from this season.
“We believe in it, we’re looking forward to it, so it gives a lot of energy.”
Ten Hag’s improving side are the only team still fighting on four fronts, with a first Premier League title since Ferguson retired in 2013 still possible given they only trail leaders Arsenal by five points.
The former Netherlands international was at Carrington to interview Ten Hag, who was pictured ahead of the game having dinner with United great Ferguson in Wilmslow.
“It’s massive,” the Dutchman said of the opportunity to spend time with Ferguson.
“It was a great night and I look forward to the next night with him.”
Ferguson led United out against Barca in the 2009 and 2011 Champions League finals and is sure to be in attendance at Thursday’s massive meeting in Europe’s second competition.
It promises to be a mammoth occasion and Ten Hag animatedly urged the Old Trafford faithful to make themselves heard as he headed towards the tunnel after Sunday’s win against Leicester.
“I’m not the type who is looking back,” the Dutchman said.
“Two, big great teams facing each other at Old Trafford.
Antony has not played since the 2-1 win against Crystal Palace on February 4, while the United skipper watched from the stands against former club Leicester due to a minor knock.
“We still have the training to go but I expect Harry Maguire and Antony dos Santos available,” Ten Hag said.