Ole's verdict on valuable win over Hammers
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has provided his view on the 1-0 victory over West Ham United at Old Trafford.
The Reds repeated the scoreline from our Emirates FA Cup victory against David Moyes's men, although that success came in extra-time, and the result takes us back into second spot in the Premier League table, with our next game in the division not until 3 April, when Brighton & Hove Albion head to Old Trafford.
Speaking to MUTV and Sky Sports, plus in his post-match press conference, Ole had this to say after Craig Dawson's own goal proved decisive...
REDS PASS MENTAL TEST
“It was massive for us. We know what momentum can give you or take away from you and, of course, the goal we conceded in the last minute against Milan, it is a mental test. How did we react and everyone has reacted in the right way. We have kept a clean sheet. We started poorly. The first 15 minutes, I have to say, we kept giving them easy turnovers, giving them chances to break on us. Then again our back four, they won the ball back for us. The recovery was really good and we kept them away from hitting the target once. Dean [Henderson] didn’t have one save to make which is the sign of a good performance.”
ANOTHER HUGE SHIFT
“It takes a big effort, it takes everything you’ve got every day, every time you play in the Premier League for Man United. It is just relentless this season and they just produce time and time again and, I have said it many times, I am so impressed by their attitude, willingness, determination to recover and go again.”
“These grey hairs come from that kind of finishing towards the end! That last pass, cross or the finish and it is 2-0 and the game is more comfortable towards the end and you can relax, but we’ve never done it the easy way at this club.”
“Yes, he was top. But then he has performed really well recently. He’s growing in maturity. His decision-making has always been really good. He just needs that goal again. It will come, today he was very, very close and it was a top performance.”
"It hurt when we conceded that goal [to Milan] but we are defending better. We are defending from the front. Our forwards sometimes you think, 'come on', when we are attacking, but they have done so much running and pressing. That is one of the pleasing things today, the energy was there, Mason [Greenwood], Bruno [Fernandes], Dan [James], Marcus [Rashford]. I didn’t feel we needed to make a change because they did such a good job up there.”
KEY FOR THE TOP-FOUR BATTLE
“Yeah, it's definitely a big weekend for us, this. Big three points, we know West Ham are challenging to get into top four, so a big result, we kept a clean sheet again which we’ve done really well lately, defensively, so the attitude, desire, determination is getting better and then the experience, the confidence will come because we’re still a young team, with young players up front there. We’ve had a few injuries, but the ones who’ve played have performed.”
THE WEEK AHEAD
“Big week, Europa League and FA Cup. So looking forward to getting a few players back hopefully for Thursday and then, hopefully, put a good performance out. We are hopeful five of them [the injured players] will be back. David [De Gea] hopefully. Donny [van de Beek] , Edinson [Cavani], Paul [Pogba] maybe and Anthony [Martial] likely, he is very likely to be back so a stronger squad to travel to Italy with.”