Fink banishes thoughts of 1999

Former Bayern Munich midfielder Thorsten Fink will have no thoughts of revenge when his Basel side face Manchester United in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Fergie conquers Europe for the first time.

The German came on as an 80th-minute Bayern substitute in the 1999 final with his team winning 1-0, only for United to strike back with two late goals to snatch their second European Cup triumph.

In fact, Fink has yet to be on the winning side against United as his other two meetings in 1999 and 2002 in the group stages have ended in draws.

But he has no thoughts of using their visit to Old Trafford to pay back United and boss Sir Alex Ferguson.

"It is not a question of getting equal," said Fink, who is in his third season as Basel coach.

"I am glad to be here as a coach, it is not an everyday experience.

"Going back (to 1999) it was a great memory, even in defeat. I think you always gain strength from defeat because everything that hurts helps you improve.

"Of course, we did go to win the Champions League (in 2001) but at the time when the team lost that helped us stick together more because we were close to winning in 1999."

And in a warning to his players he added: "If you are not careful against a team like Manchester United you end up paying."

Basel may currently be top of Group C after their 2-1 opening victory at home to Otelul Galati but their record in England is poor.

They have never won in seven visits in all competitions and since drawing against both United and Liverpool on their Champions League debut in 2002 they have lost to Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Blackburn and Fulham.

And United's current crop pose just as much of a threat.

"Manchester United have strengths offensively and I count them as one of the sides to win the competition," added Fink.

"We have experience and young players but what we don't have is fear.

"We are a Champions League team, we know what we can do, we have confidence.

"We haven't come here to sit and watch, we have come here to play.

"We are looking to get something out of the game but we have to be tight at the back."

Xherdan Shaqiri completes a two-game ban on Tuesday while fellow midfielder Benjamin Huggel is also suspended after his red card against Otelul.



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