Jose Mourinho has noted that the Manchester United supporters in the away end at Crystal Palace should be given tickets in an attempt to improve the Old Trafford atmosphere for Saturday’s meeting with Liverpool.
The away end at Selhurst Park provided an incessant source of noise – even at 2-0 down – and players were quick to praise their supporters after the game.
Man United’s away support has always been superb but Old Trafford, as Mourinho has noted on several occasions, fails to offer the same bubbling aura of noise and passion.
And Mourinho, speaking soon after the 3-2 win over Palace, encouraged the club to give tickets to those who relentlessly willed their team on in South London for the Liverpool game.
“I think [Liverpool and United] both want to finish top four but we both want to finish second, so I think it is a big game, and then Seville knockout and Brighton knockout so we have three matches at Old Trafford,” he said.
“If possible, [we should] give some tickets to the United fans that were [at Selhurst Park].”
Of course, pretty much all of those who were at Selhurst Park will be there on Saturday, and while their presence alone won’t generate much noise in itself, you can only hope that Old Trafford recognises this game as a monumental occasion – an affair of such magnitude to the point where the crowd actively plays a part in the shape and feel of the encounter.
This is the first time in a long while where these two clubs, both vying for second spot in the Premier League, will meet and play for more than pride. And the only reason Mourinho mentions the Old Trafford atmosphere is because he knows, following years of playing big games with a siege mentality, that the home crowd plays a crucial role.