Scot will take charge of his first-ever group fixture in Europe’s premier club competition against the Bundesliga high flyers on Tuesday.
Bayer Leverkusen team manager Sami Hyypia has warned new Manchester United boss David Moyes that he cannot afford any slip-ups in this season’s Uefa Champions League campaign, according to reports in the Daily Mail.
The former Liverpool captain takes his in-form Bundesliga outfit to Old Trafford on Tuesday night for their opening group-stage fixture in this season’s competition, knowing that his counterpart in the Red Devils dug-out is under intense pressure to get off to a winning start in Europe.
The Premier League champions exited the Continent’s premier club competition in the first knockout round in the previous campaign, with Spanish giants Real Madrid overcoming Sir Alex Ferguson’s side 3-2 on aggregate.
However, Hyypia says that United cannot afford to make any mistakes in this season’s tournament as the ex-Finland international looks to increase the pressure on his opposite number on Tuesday evening.
“David Moyes has a little bit more experience and is manager of a big club, playing at home, with big expectations in the Champions League this season. What happened last season can’t be the same again,” said Hyypia in his pre-match press conference ahead of the fixture.
“We can be quite relaxed and enjoy tomorrow night. That is the main thing for our players. We need to give United respect but not too much.
“We need to have the courage to play football and only then, we have a little chance to get something from this game. Hopefully we can rally the troops and be without fear out on the pitch.
“I don’t think this is the first year that United have started slowly. Moyes is an experienced manager and I think that everyone should give him a little bit more time.
“Hopefully, it doesn’t happen tomorrow and I hope we give them problems. We need to be very aware at set-pieces but we will look to disrupt their rhythm in open play, too.”
Hyypia has officially been in joint charge of Leverkusen since May 2012, although the Finn shares the coaching responsibilities along with Sascha Lewandowski, who acts as the club’s head coach due to the fact that the former has still to earn his training licence.