Ole: The derby's the best game we could ask for
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes the Manchester derby is the ideal platform as his players look for a swift recovery from Sunday's disappointing result against Everton.
Speaking to the media in his pre-match press conference, the United boss stated his desire to see a response from his squad and outlined how he plans to deal with Manchester City's trademark high press when our local rivals make the short trip to Old Trafford on Wednesday night.
“That's the best game we could ask for now,” Ole said.
“We had a meeting after the game and you can see that all the players are definitely, definitely disappointed and really hurt by that performance.The City game is the perfect one to respond [in].
Solskjaer confident of derby responseVideo
“There's no hiding place on the pitch. I've said it so many times - our fans will back you whatever the result is, as long as you give that effort.”
In Solskjaer's time at the helm, the Norwegian and his coaching staff have utilised the players' qualities on the counter attack. However with Pep Guardiola's side synonymous with pressing high up the field, Ole was cautious about how the Reds will need to go about the game.
“Against a City side that's been very, very good we've got to turn up,” said the United manager.
“We've got to be ready for their pressing, because they've got quality on the ball, so we've got to defend well. When we win the ball we've got to be ready for their aggression, because they will snap at your heels and ankles.
“They are not going to allow us easy counter attacking because there will be fouls, absolutely no doubt about it, because when you watch their games they commit so many players forward and they'll be stopping us as high as they can I think.”
Wednesday night's test is the first of four remaining fixtures which are all going to be vital if the Reds are to secure a spot in the top four, which remains very much a possibility after rivals Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham were also unable to win their Easter weekend games.
On Sunday, fellow top-four chasers Chelsea roll into Manchester. Seven days later, we'll have our last away day of the campaign, on Sunday 5 May against already relegated Huddersfield Town, before Ole's side come up against a struggling Cardiff City at Old Trafford on the final day of the season.
“We'll focus on Wednesday now and I'm sure we'll get a good response,” added Solskjaer.
“We believe in them. Of course these players know they let themselves down as individuals, as a team. Me as well. I'm in charge and I'm the one that's giving them instructions on how we're going to play and it's my duty to get them performing better than that, but I'm sure we'll get a response.”
Despite our recent run of results, Ole remains confident that United will be able to rekindle the form that was on show in his earlier months in charge. Since the manager's arrival in mid-December, just City and Liverpool have accrued more points in the top flight.
“They've been the only two teams that have taken more points than us in the last 18-19 games and that's great, the boys have done fantastic,” said Solskjaer.
“Of course we don't enjoy losing games. We've lost three out of the last five league games and that's a bit too many, but that's football. That's the Premier League for you.”
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