Zvjezdan Misimović says his VfL Wolfsburg team-mates will need to be patient when they host already-qualified Manchester United FC in Group C with their first knockout rounds aspirations on the line.
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Zvjezdan Misimović is urging his VfL Wolfsburg team-mates to be patient when they host Manchester United FC in Group C with their qualification hopes on the line.
The UEFA Champions League debutants must at least match the result PFC CSKA Moskva obtain in Turkey against Beşiktaş JK to pip the Russian outfit to one of the top two spots in the section. Boasting the prolific pairing of Edin Džeko and Grafite, the Wolves are well known for their attacking prowess and, with home advantage, might be expected to take the game to their already-qualified opponents.
Misimović, however, is warning against the temptation of looking to strike an early blow and is instead advocating a more cautious approach which may, in the end, prove irrelevant should CSKA lose in Istanbul. "We shouldn't think solely about attacking," said the 27-year-old midfielder. "We have to be very careful because Manchester United have very strong strikers. We shouldn't look to strike right from the beginning – there are 90 minutes to score a goal. For sure we will know the result from Istanbul and maybe there will not be a need to win after all."
The Bosnia-Herzegovnian international was in the team which took a surprise lead at Old Trafford on Matchday 2 before losing 2-1 courtesy of a deflected Ryan Giggs free-kick and a late strike from Michael Carrick. "We only have ourselves to blame for that defeat," reflected Misimović. "We were leading 1-0 and playing extremely well. I don't know why we stopped in the second half and conceded those two goals; it's a real shame. It's brought us to this."
Despite the summer departures of Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tévez, United are a "complete team" according to Misimović, who singles out Dimitar Berbatov and Wayne Rooney for special praise. While Wolfsburg may be underdogs against United, it has been the opposite case in the Bundesliga where, as a consequence of their success, the opposition are striving to topple the titleholders. "This year teams are looking at us very differently," he continued. "Everyone wants to beat the champions; it's a totally new situation for us. Slowly we are getting used to this way of playing and hopefully we can get even better."