Pep Guardiola and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Solskjaer exclusive: It’s not about me and Pep

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists the Manchester derby is about the 22 players on the pitch, not just him and City boss Pep Guardiola.

In our exclusive pre-match interview, the Norwegian says our two victories over the champions this season – a 2-1 league success in December, and a 1-0 Carabao Cup win five weeks ago – have come about from his team executing their gameplan to perfection.

Ole discusses today’s derby in further detail in our full transcript, which you can read below…

First of all Ole, when we look back, we're trying to do the double over City which hasn't happened in a while, but the performance at the Etihad in December – when we look at the season as a whole – is that maybe the best performance of the season?
“I think at times it was exhilarating. At times it was the best, because from say the 10th until the 30th minute, we were absolutely fantastic. That's football at its highest level. Then again we're playing against a good team and we didn't keep the ball as well as we'd like second half. So the overall 90 minutes we played miles better than that, but those 20 minutes were the best I've seen from my team.”

It's a significant game because it’s the Manchester derby but in terms of the top-four battle, it’s another huge match, isn’t it?
“Yeah, I've got to say we're looking forward to it. It's a derby. We've found form, we know form might be thrown out the window in a derby but still the boys are confident going into this game.”

That’s nine unbeaten now with seven clean sheets. What impact does that have on confidence going into the match?
“Well, you can't pick confidence out of the fridge so it just comes from performances and results and doing the right things over and over again. We’ll have to do that against these because they're a fantastic team at their best. So we need to make sure that we're ready.”

United v Man City: Ole's press conferenceVideo

You've got the better of Guardiola a couple of times. How much pride do you have when you get the better of a top manager?
“It's not managers that get one over on each other. It's the players that do on the pitch. They play on the pitch and the ones we've won against City they've thoroughly deserved it, because they've absolutely followed the plan, well the hopeful plan, and they've executed it perfectly. It's not me beating Pep, it’s Man United players beating Man City players.”

You praised the fans at Derby where there were 5,000 of them. There'll be 75,000 at Old Trafford on Sunday, how important will they be?
“They’ll be massive and keep backing the players. I know they will. They always have done. We know that we will have them behind us and we'll go for it.”

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