Time to show our pedigree - O'Shea
John O'Shea feels Manchester United must show Schalke their true class in Tuesday night's Champions League semi-final.
United prepared to head out to Germany on Monday installed as overwhelming favourites to book a blockbuster Wembley confrontation with either Real Madrid or Barcelona on May 28.
At the same time as the Premier League champions-elect were recording their weekend win over Everton, Schalke were losing on home soil to Kaiserslautern, strengthening even further a belief that Sir Alex Ferguson's men will make it through with something to spare.
Neither O'Shea, nor any of his team-mates, are likely to get lured into that kind of thinking. But after failing to overcome Borussia Dortmund at the same stage in 1997 and Bayer Leverkusen two years later, the Irishman feels it is time United flexed their muscle.
"We have to make sure we show them our history, why we have got to finals, why we have won them, why we have been in this situation many times before,'' he said. "We have to impose ourselves whilst understanding the threats they have, which we will have to cope with.''
If United have been something of an enigma this term, battling to within seven points of a record 19th title despite rarely hitting the heights of previous seasons, Schalke's form is even more puzzling. Firmly entrenched in mid-table after a disappointing Bundesliga campaign, Schalke have reserved all their best performances for Europe.
They are unbeaten since losing to Lyon in their opening group game and after dismissing a Valencia outfit that gave United two tough matches earlier this season, Schalke then slammed seven goals past holders Inter Milan at the quarter-final stage, with veteran Spain striker Raul finding the net in both legs.
"I wouldn't say we are pleased with the draw,'' said O'Shea. "Schalke have reached a Champions League semi-final. They have got to be a good team. We are favourites, which adds a bit of pressure but any side who can score so many goals against Inter Milan has to have something about them.''
O'Shea also knows Schalke's fanatical supporters tend to generate a hostile atmosphere in the Veltins Arena - where Wayne Rooney was sent-off during England's World Cup quarter-final defeat to Portugal in 2006 - although after squeezing past Marseille in the last 16 after a goalless first encounter, he is not convinced United's hopes of overall success hinge on them grabbing an away goal.
"We have to use our experience to quieten their crowd down,'' he said. "An away goal is always nice but it is not the be all and end all. We know if we are in sight when we come back to Old Trafford, we will have a great chance.''