Ole Gunnar Solskjaer watches Harry Maguire and Shola Shoretire in training

Ole: How the players have impressed me

Tuesday 02 March 2021 12:47

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he is delighted with how his Manchester United squad have dealt with this pandemic-affected season.

It has been an extremely unusual campaign for the Reds, who didn’t really have a pre-season period ahead of the new term, kicked off the Premier League campaign later than most other teams and, apart from during international breaks, have played a midweek fixture every week since the start of the campaign in September.

Despite the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the 2020/21 season, the Reds are second in the Premier League table and still fighting in two cup competitions.

Ole is understandably pleased with how his players have adapted to the unprecedented situations of the last six months, both on and off the pitch.
“I don't think anyone has surprised me, because we know what they're capable of,” the boss told reporters during Tuesday’s pre- match press conference. 

“[I’m] impressed. The way they handled the whole situation, the whole season, the whole pandemic and not being able to have your social life and have the time to switch off from football… normally, you go and meet your friends, you go to the cinema, you go out for a meal, you go to a concert. Now it's relentless. 

“It’s Thursday, Sunday, Wednesday, Saturday. I've been impressed. That's the biggest message I've got out there, that this year has been the strangest of all our lives. 

“We didn't live in the Second World War, thankfully, but these times and the restrictions have been almost as harsh. The way they've dealt with it? Absolutely brilliant.”
Solskjaer was also asked about the Reds' recent results ahead of Wednesday‘s trip to face Crystal Palace, and the boss shrugged off any suggestions that his team's form has suffered due to the pressure of going top of the table in January.

“Not at all. That's the Premier League,” the manager responded. “The pressure has not been there at all. Of course, we enjoyed being as close to the top as possible. 

“That’s the Premier League for you. That's the quality of the opposition, the quality of the tactics, the standards, the demands of the season. We've played I don’t know how many games, we're in the Europa League, we’re in the FA Cup, the Premier League and it's the strangest year of all for everyone.

"So [is it due to] pressure? No. That's the Premier League.”