However, after playing extra time against Atletico Madrid last night at Anfield, only to get knocked out of the Europa League, Ferguson is aware what effect this might have on them mentally as well as physically.
“It is difficult to say how Liverpool’s players will feel,” said Ferguson. “It is Rafa’s job to prepare his players. The way we lost to Bayern Munich gave me a difficult job to raise players. But you have to do it. That is your job. It took me a couple of days to get over it. But you can’t wallow in pity. I would totally agree that we would have preferred last night’s game to finish in 90 minutes and I have always said teams don’t get the proper help when they are in Europe. Having to play Sunday lunchtime after a Thursday game is not fair but it happens time and again when we see repeatedly teams abroad being allowed to bring games forward to suit their programme. That is a fact. They say there is congestion but it is not that big you can’t help a team by one day or a few hours. We have all had to cope with it over the years. You depend on the great resilience of the English player.”
Ferguson clearly is doing his fair share of motivating the Liverpool players and fans, talking about their great history and tradition. I suppose the problem is that if they do stop Chelsea, their history has the potential to be overshadowed by United, with a record 19th title something Liverpool appear to be a long way from achieving. Interesting to note there’s no mention of any perch.
“I am confident they will do their maximum,” he continued. “Great clubs don’t throw their history and traditions away for one game. They have been in 11 European finals. They have won 18 titles. That is a fantastic history. You don’t throw that away. The fans know that too. Do you think the fans want to go home saying their players capitulated and they didn’t try and thinking it wouldn’t happen again?”
Will they try and do it? I certainly hope so. Are they capable? We’ll have to wait and see.