Gerardo Seoane: Young Boys’ plastic pitch unlikely to affect United

Gerardo Seoane: Young Boys’ plastic pitch unlikely to affect United

Manchester United will have to deal with a plastic pitch in their Champions League opener, but Young Boys boss Gerardo Seoane does not expect it to pose too many problems for Jose Mourinho’s men.

United will look to kick-off Group H with victory in Bern ahead of tougher challenges against Valencia and Cristiano Ronaldo-inspired Juventus.

But Wednesday’s opener could well prove tricky for the visitors, with the fact in-form Young Boys will want to make a mark on their Champions League group stage debut compounded by the Stade de Suisse’s plastic pitch.

Mourinho and his players have dealt with their fair share of pitch issues over the years, particularly in the triumphant Europa League campaign of 2016/17, and the Swiss side do not expect it to throw United off-kilter.

“We can’t change the pitch,” head coach Seoane said on the eve of the game.

“It’s clear they are not used to pitches like this, so in the beginning I guess it will be a special feeling.

“But with training tonight (Tuesday) and the warm-up I think they will be all right.

“They have the quality, speed and technique to play on this pitch, so I don’t think it’s going to be a problem.”

The pitch is not the only problem United face in Bern as Mourinho looks to win his first game in Switzerland, where Basel inflicted a shock 1-0 defeat in last season’s group stage.

“It would be nice if it continues,” Seoane said of the run. “But we focus on ourselves and of course we’re playing against a very good team.”

YB boss Seoane wants his players to display courage and focus on the weaknesses he has highlighted, but the challenge that awaits is clear.

Among the stars at United’s disposal is Romelu Lukaku, who hurt Young Boys in their most recent encounter with English opposition in 2015.

The 25-year-old netted a hat-trick as Everton won 4-1 at the Stade de Suisse in the Europa League, before grabbing a brace as the second leg of the last-32 clash ended 3-1.

“Normally, it is the players who score the goals we need to look out for,” Seoane added. “But I can see eight players who can score goals in that team, so it’s not just one player.

“The defence needs to work together and defend close. That’s more important than one player.”

- Press Association

More on this topic

De Gea signs new long-term Manchester United contractDe Gea signs new long-term Manchester United contract

Rodon backs James to remain grounded despite strong start in ManchesterRodon backs James to remain grounded despite strong start in Manchester

Alexis Sanchez has no regrets over Manchester United exitAlexis Sanchez has no regrets over Manchester United exit

Mata demands killer instinct from misfiring Manchester UnitedMata demands killer instinct from misfiring Manchester United

More in this Section

The scary bit is that the champs are far from finishedThe scary bit is that the champs are far from finished

Wales train with ‘wet balls and baby oil’ ahead of World Cup openerWales train with ‘wet balls and baby oil’ ahead of World Cup opener

'We were immensely proud of her': Bohan shares moving story of Dublin mascot'We were immensely proud of her': Bohan shares moving story of Dublin mascot

Fury toasts surgeons after having 50 stitches in eye woundFury toasts surgeons after having 50 stitches in eye wound


Lifestyle

It still surprises me as I am achingly private and do not enjoy being at the centre of attention.This Much I Know: Actor Aislin McGuckin

Bride Geraldine O’Donovan felt as wonderful as she looked on her big day — knowing she was supporting a cause close to her heart as she donned her wedding gown.Wedding on the Week: Supporting a cause close to their hearts

I did my Leaving Cert in June and have just started college this week, so my school experience is extremely fresh in my memory. I went to Davis College in Mallow and it was a fantastic experience. I was the loud obnoxious child at the back of the classroom from day one. I had to (and still do, by the way) have an opinion on everything.Stand up and be counted : The Young Offender's Demi Isaac Oviawe on college and school life

When I was in secondary school I started working part-time as a waitress and I suppose I caught the hospitality bug back then.You've been served: General manager at Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa Caitriona O’Keeffe

More From The Irish Examiner