No mental problem for Solskjaer's Reds

Friday 18 December 2020 13:30

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists his side have no issues playing at Old Trafford.

The manager was asked if it has become a mental issue for the Reds as the home form has been unimpressive this term, in stark contrast to winning every single game on the road in the Premier League, most recently Thursday's 3-2 triumph at Sheffield United.

Although obviously top of the 'away' table, United are 17th in the 'home' standings, only ahead of Burnley, Brighton and the Blades, after one win in six games.

United v Leeds: Watch Solskjaer's press conference Video

United v Leeds: Watch Solskjaer's press conference

Watch as Ole discusses the rivalry with Leeds, Edinson Cavani, our centre-backs and the delayed return of fans...

"I don’t think it’s a mental issue," Ole stressed. "There can’t be no fans here [at Bramall Lane] and no fans there, so they should be used to the pitch as well, in the circumstances surrounding it and the environment.

“So, sometimes, it’s just down to fine margins – who gets the first goal and how the opposition set up. Today, against Sheffield United, you’ve got two teams who want to play on the front foot, press and go forward, which creates space for us. Space for them, to be fair.

“I think on Sunday we’ll also play a team who make it a hard game for you and also maybe an open game because the games I’ve seen from Leeds have been very entertaining."

The match with our rivals from across the Pennines this weekend is a welcome return to hostilities with the Yorkshiremen but no spectators will be inside the Theatre of Dreams to witness it.

Unfortunately, although there were hopes 2,000 fans could attend, Manchester was not moved down to tier 2 of the Government restrictions as had been desired by many within the local community.

Ole was asked if it is an advantage for leaders Liverpool to be one of the few clubs to be able to have their supporters at home games and replied: "This is a delicate question to answer because we want fans in the stadiums. I can’t see why we should stop the fans coming into the stadium, where it’s possible.

“That’s such a difficult answer to give you but I don’t think it would be any problem for us at Old Trafford to host 2,000 or 4,000 fans as well. We can’t wait to get fans in. I don’t want to stand here and say it’s not fair but having fans is, of course, an advantage for them.

“Everyone loves the support from their own club so we’ll just wait and, hopefully next time, we’ll be open."