Park ready for 'aggressive' clash

Published Nov. 23, 2010 10:59 a.m. ET

Ji-sung Park knows Manchester United are in for an "aggressive" game against Rangers in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

Park does not need to be British to know Manchester United are in a big game on Wednesday night, but at least he knows there is no danger of being thrown overboard if they lose.

United head to Ibrox knowing a point against Rangers will be enough to secure a place in the Champions League knockout phase with a game to spare.

Given it is the first of 12 matches they must play before the year is over, the chance of resting a few men before the final outing against Valencia at Old Trafford is not one Sir Alex Ferguson will want to pass up.

But Park knows better than to expect an easy time against the Scottish champions.

Ibrox will be packed to the rafters and the atmosphere intense, but Park does not feel it quite matches the games he plays for South Korea against Japan.

"We have a long history with Japan," he said. "When South Korea play against Japan the fans tell us that if we lose they are going to throw the players into the sea.


"Without doubt, they are the biggest thing for us."

However, Park is acutely aware of the cross-border tensions which surround English meetings with Scotland.

His own experiences involve Celtic, but he knows he should expect something similarly special.

"The atmosphere in the stadium is totally different," he said. "You cannot compare it to a league game or others in the Champions League.

"It's more aggressive on the pitch and the atmosphere in the stadium is really high. There is a lot more media attention as well.

"Nobody has to say anything, it is just a natural feeling that this is a different game.

"And it doesn't only apply to the British players. It is equally special for the foreign ones as well."

A clash with this particular member of the Old Firm holds unique allure for Ferguson, a former Rangers player.

But the 68-year-old has enough experience to recognise only one thing counts, namely getting the point that would confirm a place in the last 16.

"If we get a draw we will be through," Park said. "But we are not going there to get one point. We want three.

"If we get through the manager can rest a few players for the last game, which is a far better option when you consider the number of league games and other cup ties we still have to deal with."