Every word from Ole & Bruno's press conference
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Bruno Fernandes spoke to the media on Monday night ahead of this week's Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain.
The former, in particular, is used to being scrutinised by questions from journalists, but in this press conference, Ole and Bruno's biggest challenge proved to be technology.
With reporters firing questions via video link, some proved particularly difficult to translate with the temperamental internet connection - but at least it raised a few chuckles from Ole, Bruno and the reporters!
Despite the difficulties posed by modern media, we managed to jot down everything the duo said in Paris, including: our last game at the Parc Des Princes, the Reds' Champions League squad, Bruno's mentality and his hopes for 2020/21...
OGS: “Yeah, we’ve lost a couple… [Eric] Bailly didn’t travel, or [Jesse] Lingard didn’t travel. We’re a little bit depleted but we’ve got more than enough players.”
I know the squads have changed a bit since the last time, but going back to the stadium [the Parc des Princes], can it give you a bit of inspiration and a bit of hope that you can win tomorrow?
OGS: “Of course, that’s history for us; it’s in the past. It’s great history, a great game, but it has no impact whatsoever on this game. We’re a different team, they’re a different team and it’s a different stage of the competition. Without fans it will also be a different game. I thought last game when we got the early goal that impacted the crowd. So it’s a whole new situation.”
We know that a number of players are going to miss this game - when do you think the likes of Mason, Edinson and Harry will be available? Bruno, you’ve settled in so well at United - do you feel you’re playing at your very best or do you feel there’s more to come?
OGS: “We hope the players won’t be away for too long. Edinson needs a few more days training before we can maybe think about the weekend. Hopefully Harry, Eric and Mason as well, but we’re not too sure about that.”
BF: “I think I am playing well in the last few months but you can always have to improve and do better. I think I can do much better than I did before. I know my numbers are good but I’m sure I will do better numbers and better games than before.”
OGS: “If that is the case then why is Brandon here? Where are your sources? That’s what I’m saying.”
So no truth in that whatsoever?
How would you rate Manchester United pre-Bruno’s arrival and post-Bruno’s arrival? You seem like a different team…
OGS: “Bruno has come in and had a positive impact. All the stats show that and his performances have been receiving real great praise as well. He’s come in and, he’s not changed the team, but sparked something in the team. Hopefully we have sparked something in his career as well that helps him become a better player. That was a change point in our season last season. We hope for more to come.”
OGS: “We have a squad of 25 to put on the list. Phil [Jones] has been injured. Marcos [Rojo] has been injured and he’s been away from the team for a long time. Sergio [Romero] hasn’t come back to us yet, so when we had to put the list in, we put the available players on.”
What’s the nature of Mason’s injury? When did he get injured?
OGS: “I can’t declare medical stuff, can I? It’s just a niggle and, as young as he is, we don’t want to take any chances with him. Hopefully at the weekend he’ll be fine again.”
Bruno, when you joined Manchester United did you think you would have the impact you have done? Over the summer, do you think the squad was enhanced to win trophies?
BF: “Of course when you play for a club like United you always need to look for trophies. I don’t know if we’ll win the Champions League or the FA Cup or the Carabao Cup, but it’s important for us and for all players, winning trophies. To have that mentality that Manchester United has: winning and winning. It’s important for us, for all the players. Of course, we have a lot of young players and it will be good if we can achieve some trophies this season. We want to achieve these trophies.”
BF: “I think I grew up like this. It’s the way I have to be in life and in football too. It’s my character. Sometimes it’s too much and sometimes other players are less [confident]. I think I can help the team with the way I am. All the players are driven and you need all of the different characters in the team to complete a very good team. I think it’s important, the way I am, to complete the others, and it’s important the qualities the others have, to complete me.”
We spent a whole season talking about getting into the Champions League, now you’re in the Champions League, how big a challenge is this? How difficult will it be to get out of this group considering the teams that are involved alongside Manchester United?
OGS: “Well, everyone wants to be in the Champions League; you want to play against the best teams in the world. We’ve drawn one finalist from last year [PSG]; Red Bull [Leipzig] were the semi-finalists and we have the pleasure of welcoming Rafa [Rafael] back to Old Trafford [with Istanbul Basaksehir]. It’s a fantastic group for us and every game will mean a lot. Every game will be important for us because this team has just started on something. The biggest test that we’ve had so far so will probably be this game.”
How will the arrival of Edinson Cavani impact Odion Ighalo?
OGS: “I think, as a team and club, we always want to get players in. I think Edinson coming in will try and do that to the Premier League, and we’ll give him time to adapt to this team and to get his sharpness and fitness back. We’ve had some very good performances from Odion and he is still a very important part of this squad.”
Harry Maguire’s injury, will it keep him out for the weekend as well? And in his absence, who will your captain be tomorrow?
OGS: “We hope Harry will be fit for the weekend, we’re not sure, but we hope so. The captain sits next to me. Bruno will captain the team tomorrow.”
Bruno, you’re captain but you’ve only been here for nine months. How do you feel about that?
OGS: “I was not expecting this. I know the same time as you. Of course, for me, it’s an honour I will be captain for my team-mates and being captain of Manchester United is important for me. I think the captain is everybody and everyone needs to help; everyone needs to be a leader. The leadership is different in every player. Tomorrow will not be about me, it’s about the team. Leading the team is every day in the training ground, every training, every game, and I think everyone is doing their own job to lead the team in the way they think is the best.”