Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the training ground.

Ole: We can improve before Barca visit Old Trafford

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer plans to make the most of the eight-day preparatory period that Manchester United have for next Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg against Barcelona.

The Reds do not have a fixture to contest this weekend, due to the Emirates FA Cup semi-finals taking place at Wembley Stadium, and that provides the manager with invaluable time to work with his players at the Aon Training Complex, focusing on potential marginal gains and tactical ideas against the Catalans.  

Speaking at his press conference following the Premier League defeat at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Tuesday night, Ole was asked how his squad can improve before the anticipated European tie at Old Trafford.

“Oh, many, many things we have to improve, of course, because they are a top, top side,”
Solskjaer told reporters.
“But we’ll use one or two days now to analyse and recover. And we’ll prepare for Barcelona, which will be a fantastic challenge for the club and for the team.”
 

Ole's post-match press conferenceVideo

That 2-1 loss at Molineux was United’s third defeat in four matches across all competitions, having recently suffered another loss to Wolves in the FA Cup and a reverse at Arsenal in the Premier League.

Solskjaer does not believe those results represent a resetting of our form, as one journalist suggested in the press conference. Instead, he is upbeat and generally pleased with performances.

“You can’t control the result,”
said Ole.
“We can control what we do on the pitch, performance wise, and we’ve played well enough tonight [Tuesday]. We created enough chances to win the game. 

“So, I don’t think there’s any kick-back or re-setting to be fair. I was very pleased with the amount of chances, and the intent with the way we started the game. You cannot stop players from playing, or trying, and if there’s a mistake to be done then that happens, and that’s football.”

WHO IS AVAILABLE?

That is the big question this week, after Ander Herrera and Marcus Rashford both missed the match at Wolves in midweek due to injury. Whether or not they will be fit enough to face Barcelona is unclear at this stage. 

Eric Bailly is also unavailable at present due to a head injury that the defender sustained while representing Ivory Coast during the recent international break. 

The centre-back joined Antonio Valencia, Matteo Darmian and Alexis Sanchez on our list of absentees.

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