Ole Gunnar Solskjaer smiles during a training session at the Aon Training Complex

Solskjaer targets 12-day stay in Germany

Thursday 06 August 2020 09:45

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is hoping his side will be able to go the distance in the Europa League after booking a place in next week's quarter-finals.

The Reds completed an emphatic 7-1 aggregate victory over LASK in the round of 16 last night, after Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial added their Old Trafford strikes to the five which had already been scored in the first leg in Austria back in March.

Now United head to Germany where FC Copenhagen will provide the last-eight opposition in Cologne on Monday night. The ultimate aim is to replicate our 2017 success in the competition, albeit with a very different feel to the proceedings.

Not only will the remaining matches in the tournament be played without fans of course, they will also have the same one-legged format and will all take place in less than a fortnight with the final falling on Friday 21 August.
Ole's press conference Video

Ole's press conference

Jesse Lingard and Harry Maguire were among the topics of conversation in the boss's media briefing...

Speaking in his press conference following the win against LASK, Ole said he would be looking to treat the rest of the Europa Lague like a “mini tournament” and has set his sights on being involved for as long as possible.

“Let’s see how long it lasts – hopefully more than two days, hopefully up to 12 days,” he said.

“We’re going to approach it one game at a time. Everyone’s going to travel on Sunday morning or Saturday night and we’ll stay together for as long as we’re in the tournament.”
Referencing the precautions in place to avoid the spread of coronavirus, he added: “There are rules and regulations on the bubble that’s going to travel. We’ve got to stick together, stay together in and around the hotel and the training ground.”

The manager also indicated that his line-up against Copenhagen will be different to the one we saw in the LASK game, which enabled a broader set of players to get starts under their belts before the competition ramps up in Cologne.

“Now we travel to Germany with a squad that’s had enough game time,” he said. “These players needed to play tonight to get their rhythm and get their confidence up and get the feel of a game. It won’t be the same team, so we’ll make some changes.”
When asked whether goalkeeper Sergio Romero would retain his place for the remainder of the competition, having only missed one Europa League match this season, Ole added it would be a case of “wait and see”.

“He’s played well tonight definitely but I’m not going say Sergio is the Europa League keeper.

“It’s between him and David [De Gea] all the time, we’re going to pick a team that we think is going to win this tournament.”
Highlights: United 2 LASK 1 Video

Highlights: United 2 LASK 1

Watch the best bits of our comeback win, including the important goals from Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial...

Meanwhile, one player almost certain to be involved in Cologne is skipper Harry Maguire, who has already turned out 53 times for the Reds in 2019/20 – including every minute of our Premier League campaign.

Quizzed on the skipper's workload and how it might impact his form in Germany, Ole replied: “He’ll get his time off after this tournament, so no worries about that. “There’s a reason why he’s the captain, he always wants to play but he’s always ready to play.

“He’s missed only one or two games this season maybe, and I think he just gets sharper and sharper the more he plays.”

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