Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Exclusive: Solskjaer hopes for a double celebration

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will celebrate his one-year anniversary as Manchester United manager on Thursday, hopefully with a place in the Carabao Cup semi-finals safely secured.

The Norwegian’s hungry young Reds are set to host Colchester United at Old Trafford this evening (Wednesday), in the last eight of a competition that represents a good chance to win silverware. 

Since his appointment as caretaker manager on 19 December 2018, Solskjaer has repeatedly spoken about the importance of lifting trophies at our beloved club and he sees the League Cup as a valuable opportunity.
“My first year has gone very quickly and it has been so enjoyable,”
Ole told us, ahead of the 20:00 GMT kick-off.
“It is just an honour and privilege, of course, and I will make sure that I can have a good celebration on Wednesday.

“We are at home but, of course, this is a team that has knocked out Tottenham and Crystal Palace, so there is no way we are going to take them lightly. Even though we are favourites and big favourites, we know you have to go out there, perform, create chances and score goals. We hope to do so.”
Colchester are currently ninth in League Two and are the lowest-ranked club left in the Carabao Cup, yet their wins over Spurs and Palace in the previous rounds highlight how dangerous they are.

Asked by our reporter Stewart Gardner if complacency might be United’s enemy at Old Trafford, the manager was clear in his assessment that none of his players will take the opposition lightly. 

“When you put that Manchester Untied shirt on, complacency should not be in your head,”
said Ole.
“And when there is a semi-final and a potential final there at stake, of course you have got to go out there and start brightly, start quickly, get your goals and then hopefully get through.”

Solskjaer: Colchester is a big game for usVideo

With another important game to come on Sunday, away to Watford in the Premier League, Solskjaer plans to rotate his squad for the visit of Colchester to the Theatre of Dreams. 

“Yes we have got to use the squad because there are so many games in December and January, especially if we go through, because then there are another two games,” explains the boss. 

“Many of those players, from the AZ Alkmaar game [last week in the Europa League], you will see again.”

United’s starting XI and matchday squad will be officially announced at 19:00 GMT.

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