Solskjaer reacts to Everton friendly win
Four goals in front of a lively Old Trafford crowd pleased Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as Manchester United completed pre-season in the most emphatic of manners.
The boss gave his reaction after an entertaining game, speaking about the signings of Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane, the fitness of Jesse Lingard, Dean Henderson and Scott McTominay and Harry Maguire’s headers.
Read the key quotes below...
GOALS BRING CONFIDENCE
“When you make changes, the games in pre-season always go this way, or most of the time go this way [intense first half, quieter second half]. It was about getting the minutes in, try to get the intensity, the work they’ve put in so far in pre-season has been good and we got rewarded with a few nice goals today. That was a positive. We did okay fitness wise but Leeds is a different kettle of fish with the way they play. Every team in the league poses a different challenge so today was about intensity and going home tonight with four goals. That gives us confidence.”
SANCHO TO TRAIN ON MONDAY
“The medical with Raphael [still] has to be done. He’s isolating at the moment. He had to wait for visas, so unfortunately that took a few more days than expected but we’re going to follow the protocols and the rules, so it’s taken a few more days than we hoped for. Jadon is in for Monday and hopefully then he’s in decent nick and can be involved [against Leeds].”
MORE FROM MAGUIRE
“I’ve not had a lot of time with Harry since he come back but the summer practising set plays with Luke and England has helped us. Today was a good delivery [and] a good header. Harry knows we demand more from him in the goal tally. He’s one of the best with getting the first contact but too many times it’s flown over the bar but well done [for today], he’s in good nick after the Euros and looked very good today.”
HENDERSON AND LINGARD UPDATE
“Jesse, he feels okay, and hopefully it’ll stay that way, but when you get the positive test you’ve got to isolate even if you’re feeling well. Dean, he was positive early on and then he’s negative in his testing [now] but he’s not felt as energised or sharp as he has done. So he’s still fatigued and feeling the after effects so you never know, you’ve seen so many effects of this virus so he’s got a few days still to rest and then we’ll check up on him.”
MARTIAL FINDING HIS FEET
“Anthony has had a bad spell with injuries, of course these were his first 45 minutes. He’s been training well with us but as players who’ve been out for a while, they need some more sharpness, need some more work. He tried to do the right thing; it didn’t come off all the time, but it’s better than what you fear sometimes when he’s been injured for five months – since March.”
PLAYERS BUZZING TO HAVE FANS BACK
“They do enjoy having the fans, it was great having the fans there. Our fans love our players, love to show their affection for the players and that’s not been there for 18 months, more or less. The City derby was a fantastic occasion and Leeds game now will be a big one as well, to get a full stadium. Just hear the crowds when Bruno scores his free kick, they’ve been wanting to celebrate loads of goals with him for a year and a half. We’ll be better off for it and we’ll have a better home record this year than last.”
A SUMMARY OF PRE-SEASON
“We’ve had a longer pre-season than last year. Last season we had a full group for five days, just the last week before the Palace game, so that was a very difficult one naturally because we went so far in Europe. This summer, at least everyone has had three weeks off, some have had four, some have had five. We’re still lacking a few match minutes for a few but we’re getting there, we’re better prepared than last season. Some of us started 5 July, some trained with us for the first time this week, Jadon is next week, Raphael hopefully once the medical is sorted will be a few days with us. We have to get them through a fitness regime as well, we can’t just throw them into a game. The staff are doing great work, the sports science guys are working hard to get everyone up to speed as quickly as possible. A few players now we’ve had a few niggling injuries, Scott for example, so hopefully he’ll feel no more after effects after this 20 minutes he played.”
THE WEEK AHEAD
“It's a big week. It has to be some work specific to Leeds, but we need some more fitness. These first three games, before the international break, is still part of pre-season but we need to get some more points than last season.”