Nemanja Vidic has called on Manchester United to rediscover their famed winning mentality to prevent their season ending in shattering disappointment.
A week ago, Sir Alex Ferguson's men were facing up to a crucial eight-day period with high hopes of strengthening their quest for a Premier League-Champions League double. Yet after a quite disastrous couple of games, United are acutely aware if they cannot defeat Bayern Munich at Old Trafford on Wednesday night they will be staring into the abyss of a barren season, save for February's Carling Cup triumph over Aston Villa.
For Vidic, who has reached the Champions League semi-finals and won the Premier League in all three full seasons he has spent with United, the prospect is not a pleasant one. "I believe and hope we can find some energy," he told Key 103 radio.
"We need to rediscover that winning mentality. We need to stick together and we need to play like a team.
"The last few games have been hard. They have been emotional.
"But we are in this position now and we need to deal with it the best we can."
Ferguson must decide whether to rush Wayne Rooney back a week earlier than the most positive estimate when he originally injured his ankle in the first leg. United's general performance without their 34-goal talisman against Chelsea would not have filled Ferguson with any confidence about his side's ability to recover from a 2-1 first-leg deficit without him.
Ferguson is also aware that not only are United now trailing Carlo Ancelotti's men, arguably they have a more arduous five-game run-in, which makes that avenue for glory look distinctly dubious. It all points to Rooney being involved in some capacity, even if it is on the substitutes' bench. But Vidic is aware it will take more than that to turn United back into winners given the manner in which they were totally outplayed by Chelsea at the weekend.
"We always look to move on," he said. "We were disappointed with the Bayern game. It wasn't just the result, it was the way we played.
"But in the second-half against Chelsea, we showed a bit more courage. "We pressed the ball higher. We played better than we did in the first. But we still need to improve that final ball."
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