Rangnick confident despite challenge ahead

Schalke coach Ralf Rangnick was in a confident mood as his side aims to overturn a two goal deficit against Manchester United.English Premier League leaders United cruised to a 2-0 victory in the first leg of the Champions League semi -final last week, a result that could have been much worse for Schalke if not for the heroics of goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

But Rangnick insisted his players are still very much alive going into the match at Old Trafford and claimed he has been inspired by recalling United’s epic European escape acts – and defeats.

United struck twice in injury time to beat Bayern Munich and claim the trophy in the 1999 final.

Rangnick is more hopeful, though, of facing the type of United side that went out of the competition on away goals last year having held a three-goal lead against Bayern.

“We have to take our chances when they are presented,” Rangnick said.

“Even if there are just two minutes left we still have to think about United and in 1999 when they were a goal down going into injury-time and they still managed to win. You can never tell what will happen in football.”

“Things can turn around so quickly, and United’s match against Bayern last year is another example.”

Rangnick is also pondering the selection of his ‘lucky’ mascot, defender Benedikt Howedes who played a key role in his side’s 5-2 win over Inter Milan in the last round.

The young defender, 23, has been out injured for two games and was expected to miss the Old Trafford clash.

But Rangnick revealed he has an outside chance of featuring.

“The last four games he (Howedes) played we won,” Rangnick said.

“But this is not the last game of the season. He has to be 100 per cent fit and we will listen to medical staff because we don’t want to take a risk and find out that he will be missing for another three or four weeks.”