Is it optimism or delusion? Manchester United may be set for their worst ever Premier League finish but manager David Moyes has set his sights on achieving Champions League glory.
Having lost eight times, United sit sixth in the league, 11 points behind fourth-placed Liverpool.
In the 18 seasons since the Premier League began, United have never finished outside the top three.
But unless there is a dramatic turnaround, the defending champions will finish outside the Champions League places.
Their only hope of playing in the Champions League next season, then, is to win Europe’s top competition for the fourth time in their history.
“Everybody wants to win it and we’ll try to do it,” Moyes told United’s official website. “I never said we would or we can but we’ll be in there.
“Teams don’t want to play Manchester United. They know what it stands for as they have been successful. I hope we can play well enough to get through this round and see what happens next.” Before they can start to dream of glory, United must get past Olympiacos.
“They are really good and have had a great record,” Moyes said. “They are undoubtedly the best team in Greece, no question about it. They also have a lot of Greek internationals who will go to the World Cup and it will be a really tough game.”
Moyes will hope that striker Wayne Rooney is invigorated after signing a new deal with the club, worth a reported £3,00,000 ($4,99,000) per week.
Rooney scored in the weekend win over Crystal Palace and with Robin van Persie and Adnan Januzaj in the team, the England forward believes United have plenty of firepower to hurt Olympiacos and any European opposition.
“They are all great players,” Rooney said. “We have great flexibility in the team and I thought we linked up quite well.
“It is going to take time to see us all at our best but, once we do, it could be a great, exciting time for the club.
“We also have Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez to come in. We have great forwards.” And Rooney said United would be ready for the threat posed by the Greek side.
“Tuesday is a massive game for us,” he said. “We want to be going into the quarterfinals of the Champions League.
“It’ll be tough but we’ll get the Palace match out of our system, prepare well and we’ll be ready.”