Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Ole explains mindset for a big week

Saturday 05 December 2020 07:00

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says positivity and focus are key for his Manchester United players as the Reds prepare for a big week of matches.

The Reds travel to West Ham United on Saturday for our first experience in front of fans this season, before flying out to Germany to take on RB Leipzig in our crucial, final Group H Champions League game, with a point needed to book our place in the knock-out stage. The Manchester derby is also coming up on the horizon and it's a week Ole is looking forward to.

The United manager sat down with reporter Mark Sullivan to discuss the next three games and the importance of building on the recent good performances...

West Ham v United: Ole's matchday Q&A Video

West Ham v United: Ole's matchday Q&A

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Firstly Ole, how do you reflect on the defeat to PSG in midweek?
“We didn’t really get going for 20 minutes but, from 20, until they scored their second goal, I thought we played some outstanding football. As I said to the boys afterwards, we cannot fault the attitude, and the quality, it’s just sometimes fine margins.”

What has the message been to the players since then? I guess you can't be too downbeat because the performance was there?
“No, you can’t be downbeat if the performance wasn’t there either because you have another [game] ahead of you. There is nothing that becomes history quicker than a game of football and that will have no effect on the next game, unless you let it. You can keep your head down and let your mindset be down and have it affect you in a negative way but the boys have, of course, come back with a desire to make it right against West Ham.”

How is the squad shaping up, given Marcus Rashford came off in that game against PSG?
“Marcus has had some treatment today and he joined in the session, a very light session. He’s having treatment again - the longer the game went on [the other night] it became sore and he couldn’t carry on. Hopefully, he’ll be ready for Saturday and, if not, then hopefully Tuesday.”

Bar Luke Shaw, is everyone fighting fit?
“Fighting fit, they all want to be part of this. There are a couple of niggles but let’s see how they react after the session today and who can travel.”

What have you made of West Ham and the work done by David Moyes to get them up to fifth in the league now?
“He’s had some fantastic results. The results have come from good performance as well. He’s had some other games like the Liverpool one where they were unlucky not to get something from it, they drew against [Manchester] City and have won the last three. I’ve been impressed, but not surprised because, when you follow football and you follow David, he’s always organised his teams really well and he’s reaping the rewards at the moment.”

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The three straight wins they’ve had just shows how quickly you can move up the table doesn’t it?
“Yeah. It’s a tight season, there will be ups and downs and it’s about bouncing back from a bad result and making sure you don’t take your foot off the pedal from good performances and good results. We’ve just got to be focused again, get ready to go for 5.30pm and there will be fans in the stadium so we’ll have a new experience again. It’s great to get the fans back.”

Historically, it’s always been such a good game between ourselves and West Ham and, more often than not, there always seems to be goals…
“Yeah but, last season, we should have had a few there when we lost. We know it’s a tough opponent and we’ve not had the greatest of results lately [against them] so we’ve got to change that on Saturday.”

It feels like another big week with West Ham, Leipzig and City on the horizon…
“Great week ahead. There is no time to feel down from Wednesday, we’ve got to move forward and look forward, and have everyone ready because there will be more than 11 players playing in those three games.”