Fellaini says that Manchester United 'need to show more b***s' ahead of Liverpool clash
MAROUANE FELLAINI insists that he and his team-mates owe Louis van Gaal a miracle win on Thursday night.
The big-haired Belgian admits that they let down their beleaguered manager in the 2-0 defeat at Anfield that makes Jurgen Klopp's troops favourites to storm into the Europa League last eight.
He also confessed that not enough of LVG's players showed they had what it took to battle against Liverpool's high-intensity pressing game.
One United man did, with David de Gea producing the saves that kept the score down.
His fine display gives Fellaini hope of ultimate triumph in the first ever European meeting between the bitter rivals.
However, he knows there should have been a far greater show of strength – instead of a failure to play with cojones.
He declares: "We need more leaders. We all have to stand up and take responsibility.
Fellaini contests a high ball with Emre Can
"We need to show more of these," he adds, while pointing 'downstairs'.
"First, of course, we must take on West Ham, focus on that, because it is for the semi-final of the FA Cup.
"We have to win, but we also have to win against Liverpool. And in both games we must do the right things."
One of those 'right things' is to show the kind of guts he knows too many lacked on Merseyside.
The other is following orders and he admits that Van Gaal's pre-match instructions were ignored or simply forgotten about in the heat of the battle against Liverpool.
Van Gaal once again took serious flak for a defeat, but Fellaini insists the Dutchman's critics are aiming at the wrong target.
He says : "Against Liverpool we didn't press well in the first-half.
"In the second half it was much better and we had more possession of the ball, but in the first-half we did not respect enough the game plan of the manager.
"That was to press with shape. We didn't do well so we changed in the second-half and got better."
Louis van Gaal was not pleased with his side's first-half performance at Anfield
Fellaini knows that another half of running around like headless chickens will mean the end of what could be a precious route to glory and the Champions League as Europa winners.
A 2-0 deficit, as it stands, is a high enough mountain to climb against a Klopp team that will have had a full seven days to recover.
But without following orders – and showing the right stuff – then there will be no chance.
He is adamant that Van Gaal's men not only have to play like men over the next few games, but not look for excuses such as fatigue or stress.
And he calls on the supporters, many of whom already see Van Gaal as a dead man walking, to be as United as they have ever been, saying: "The Liverpool game will be tough, no question. But winning, going through, is still possible.
The second leg will take place at Old Trafford
"The fans will play a massive part for us. I hope they will help us go forward and score goals, because we need it against Liverpool.
"We need the fans more than ever right now for what is going to be a massive week for us and I hope they stay behind us.
"We cannot allow ourselves to be distracted. Maybe the Liverpool game is bigger (than United's drawn FA Cup tie) because of who we play against and the possibilities of the Champions League.
"We have the quality and physicality so we just have to focus and try and do everything to win these games.
"Every trophy is important for this club. We need to win something.
"I hope we play well against West Ham and get to the semi-final – I know we can do the same on Thursday and get past Liverpool.
"We can do it, but only if we work together, show what we really are. We all have to be leaders, we all have to show how much we want success," he adds.
"There are always duels and challenges in games like the Liverpool one. We have to win our own battles.
"Sure, we are two down to a very good team in Liverpool and we are in a tough spot.
"However, Thursday will be a different setting, a different game. We were not ready in the first-half at Anfield – we have to be ready for anything on Thursday."