Your matchday Q&A with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer spoke to MUTV's Mark Sullivan ahead of today's home game with Brighton & Hove Albion. Here's what our caretaker manager had to say about the aftermath of beating Spurs, the state of his squad, the winning run and more...
How good has the week’s work been following the great win at Spurs?
“Of course, when you win games like this it’s another step forward. It’s another reason for the players to come into work happy and it’s another reason to push on. That’s what we have to do. If we don’t push on and try to improve all the time. The physical load and work-rate they put into that game was exceptional. We’ve had a nice couple of days, first recovery, and then we trained well after that.”
You were praised for a tactical masterclass by some pundits and press. Was that pleasing to hear?
“I don’t really care what people say, I have to say. But it was pleasing to see the work we’ve done in training achieve results and, of course, we have to have a different way of playing against different teams because every team in the Premier League will cause you a different challenge. They caused us a massive challenge in the second half but we could have finished the game off, by scoring for 2-0 or even 3-0 maybe even. Then David, of course, played one of his best games ever. We just never managed to keep the intensity in our work rate in the last 15 or 20 minutes. That was the big difference because they’d put so much work in.”
Is it nice to have the luxury of a full week to prepare for a game again?
“Of course, yes, in these periods, you need to put the work in now before the games come thick and fast. We’ve still got almost a full week until the FA Cup game next week [against Arsenal on Friday 25 January]. It’s been a good period of work and sharing a few principles of how we want to play. With me and Mike [Phelan], and of course Kieran [McKenna] and Michael [Carrick], who were here before so they’re the mix in between, we know how quickly we can get the players from what they used to do to what we want them to do.”
What’s the team news for the Brighton game? Are there any updates on injuries?
“Alexis [Sanchez] has trained this week so hopefully he will be available for me and for the squad. Chris [Smalliing] has just started running with boots on, so he’s still a bit away, and Marcos [Rojo] is still a bit away. Felli [Marouane Fellaini] is injured and out for a few weeks and I think that’s, more or less, it. We have so many players! We’re looking okay, actually.”
“It will be a new experience but, then again, I’ve dealt with Brighton in the last couple of years with Molde as they’ve signed two of my players. They’re in the Reserves so I don’t think we’ll see them at Old Trafford. Chris [Hughton] has done a remarkable job, I have to say, with the results he’s picked up lately, like away to West Ham.”
What are you expecting from the game?
“We’re at home and I want the crowd to be on their feet again. I just want the players, we expect the players, to be on the front foot at home. We’ve got loads of energy as we’ve had a full week [of training] and we just want to keep on going.”
“It’s massive. Every single game is massive. If you count up the points at the end of the season, if you lose out by two points, they might be the ones when you drew instead of winning. All these little things count in the end. This is a big, big game for us – even bigger than Spurs. Everyone says that was a test for the boys, blah, blah, but [motivation for] Wembley and Tottenham will always take care of itself. Now we are expected to entertain and dominate and, sometimes, those are the games you really need to step up for. The boys are ready, definitely.”
Reading this in our app? If not, you might miss some exclusive features not found on ManUtd.com. Download the Official App here.