LONDON, England, September 20 – Nemanja Vidic insists Manchester United fans will not disgrace his club with offensive chants about the Hillsborough stadium disaster when they visit arch-rivals Liverpool on Sunday.
United’s trip to Anfield is always potentially explosive given the animosity between supporters but the build-up to this season’s clash is especially tense as it is Liverpool’s first home game since the report into the tragedy.
The report cleared Liverpool fans of any blame for the deaths of 96 of their own supporters during crushing on the terraces before and during the 1989 FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest at the stadium in Sheffield, northern England.
But United fans, who have often taunted their rivals about Hillsborough in the past, engaged in anti-Liverpool chants during last weekend’s win over Wigan, raising fears they would do the same at Anfield and potentially spark serious crowd disorder.
However, Vidic was relieved there were no further chants about Liverpool during Wednesday’s Champions League win over Galatasaray at Old Trafford and the United captain expects the same this weekend.
“I don’t think we should put so much pressure on our fans,” he said. “People always try to make a big thing out of a small one but I don’t have any worries. We have shown many times in the past and I think we will be proud of them.
“The big teams respect each other and we are going to play football.”
United’s 1-0 win over Galatasaray could have been much easier if Portugal winger Nani had converted a penalty.
But Nani’s shot was easily saved, making him the third United player to miss a penalty this season, and he admitted it was a poor effort.
“I took a bad penalty,” Nani said. “I would take one again. If the manager agrees I would do it — and score.”
Manager Alex Ferguson is unlikely to agree however after revealing he had no idea why Nani took the spot-kick in the first place.
“I think he just ran and grabbed the ball,” Ferguson said. “I thought Robin (van Persie) should have taken it, to be honest with you. I think we will have to decide before the game. That was my fault, I should have done that.”