'A big black dot on our season'
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says his Manchester United players will go into today's Premier League clash with Tottenham Hotspur with plenty of confidence and also a determination to fully put the 6-1 defeat to Spurs behind us.
The Reds endured a day to forget at Old Trafford, back in October, and when asked about that result in his pre-match interview, Ole described it as a 'a big black dot on our season'.
United head to north London on the back of an excellent 2-0 win away to Granada in the Europa League quarter-final first leg and the boss says his players will be ready for the challenge ahead against Jose Mourinho's team...
We know how difficult the Thursday/Sunday set-up is but I guess you're used to it now?
“Yes we have to get used to it. We did it last season and we've done it a couple of times this season and it's something the players will just take head on. It's a challenge. They've had a free week but we'd rather be in the quarter-finals having this problem instead of not.”
Does the result against Tottenham from earlier in the season provide motivation for the players?
“Of course. Every player's pride is hurt by that result. That was a big black dot on our season, we know that. And we know the reasons behind it. We had a lack of pre-season, we didn't hit our form and Anthony [Martial] was unlucky to get a red card... I've said enough about that.”
The confidence you must have going into away games this season must be quite something?
“We've done really well and got good results but every game lives its own life. We have to perform, nothing you've done before will help on the pitch apart from, as you say, the confidence. The confidence should be good and we should be ready to go from the kick-off because we know that they've got some of the top players in the country.”
I guess their threats are fairly obvious - it's their attacking threats...
“They're a team full of quality players from the keeper to wide left, but of course Son and Kane have been a revelation this season and they caused us loads of problems in the first game [earlier in the season] as well and we know we have to defend well against them.”
Tottenham away last year was the first game of Project Restart and you haven't really stopped since have you?!
“No! It's been a challenge but it's been really good as well. We've not really played any games that you can practice because you have to get results. Pre-season next season will hopefully give us a chance to try a few things, but now it's about results and we'll be ready on Sunday.”