LASK's new manager comments on facing Manchester United
Austrian side LASK visit Old Trafford in midweek with a point to prove after being hammered at home in the first leg back in March.
The 5-0 loss on home turf back in March gives them no chance of reaching the Europa League quarter-finals, but they will be determined to give a good account of themselves.
The most notable change for LASK is in the dugout. Valerian Ismael was replaced as manager during the break by Dominik Thalhammer.
Thalhammer’s first game in charge of LASK will be at Old Trafford on Wednesday night.
He is not daunted by the prospect and wants his players to benefit from the experience.
Thalhammer told Nachrichten: “We are not thinking in the direction of a result. We are looking to make ourselves better.
“Playing against teams like that, playing games like that in this stadium – that’s great.”
It can’t go worse, can it?
LASK’s night at home to United in March was a disaster. They were denied the chance for their home fans to watch the game and create an atmosphere, which was their best chance of knocking United off their stride.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side took a one goal lead in the first half with an excellent strike from Odion Ighalo, before Dan James doubled the advantage midway through the second half.
United then scored three goals in the final 10 minutes, including two in stoppage time, as the scoreline went from a respectable defeat to an embarrassing home loss for the outclassed hosts.
LASK will not be able to qualify for the last eight, but they can try and salvage some pride.
United will put out a rotated team and could in the process underestimate the Austrians, who knocked out AZ Alkmaar in the previous knockout round.
New manager Thalhammer provides an unknown quantity to the fixture and with it a possible new spark for the visitors.
He will be determined that his team are not on the wrong end of another one-sided result, even if his comments sound like those of a tourist rather than an opposition manager.
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