Dwight Yorke has called on Manchester United to embrace "the spirit of 1999" to beat Bayern Munich on Wednesday night.
Yorke, 38, was one of the stars of the remarkable Champions League Final that year between tonight’s opponents when United came from behind to snatch the trophy from the German side with two late goals in injury time. This famous victory against the odds sealed an unprecedented treble for the Mancunians.
On Wednesday evening Sir Alex Ferguson’s charges have to overturn a 2-1 defeat from the quarter-final first leg in Munich, with star man Wayne Rooney ruled out due to an ankle injury. Speaking exclusively to Goal.com UK, Yorke believed United “need every ounce of their ability, desire and determination” to progress to the semi-final stage.
"They certainly will need some of the spirit we showed in 1999. Bayern over the years have been one of the great European teams and they are just so difficult to play against,” Yorke said.
"United will need every ounce of their ability, desire and determination to overcome Bayern. We have the second leg at home and that will play in to our hands as we are a phenomenal team at home.
"United have an away goal going for them so they will know they are in a very commanding position as United tend to score at home in the Champions League.
"Manchester United will have to be clever, I’m sure they will, and there’s no better person than Sir Alex Ferguson to put out a team to overcome a very resilient German team."
After taking the lead in just the second minute through Rooney, United’s collapse at the Allianz Arena last week shocked the travelling supporters. Yorke put this down to the players losing focus due to the early lead.
He said: "It was just a lack of concentration as always. United were cruising with the away goal and looked reasonably comfortable during the game and there was nothing really alarming.
"Ivica Olic is a person who will goad the defence whether on top or behind, he is just so resilient with his work ethic, and Manchester United switched off for a period of moments. They pretty much got mugged like they have done to many other teams throughout the years."
While the United players sunk a week ago, Franck Ribery and Mark van Bommel took command of the match. Yorke was particularly impressed by the pair and argued Ferguson will have the difficult task at Old Trafford of going for the win while not leaving them space to strike.
"On Tuesday night you could see why the likes of United, Real Madrid and Barcelona are linked to Ribery because he brings that kind of quality to the Bayern Munich team,” Yorke said.
"He is certainly going to be a threat. As much as we need to win the game at home, he certainly makes Bayern tick along with van Bommel.
"They are the two players United will need to keep an eye on tentatively, but at the same time knowing that there is a game to be won at home if they are to advance to the semi final."