Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Ole: It’ll be great playing in front of fans

Friday 04 December 2020 13:36

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is looking forward to playing in front of fans when we play West Ham United at the London Stadium on Saturday.

Since Scott McTominay’s late strike secured three points against Manchester City in March, supporters have not been allowed inside Old Trafford or any Premier League grounds.

This weekend, the long-anticipated return of fans will finally happen. United will play in front a crowd of 2,000 as West Ham are based in an area defined as Tier 2 by the government's restrictions.

Watch Ole's pre-match press conference here.

When facing reporters for his pre-match press conference on Friday, Ole admitted it will be a relief to perform in front of a crowd again, even if the stadium will be far from full.

"It’ll be great playing in front of fans; we’re looking forward to it," he said.

"Of course, we won’t have our fans but we’ll just have to use the energy, or thrive off the home fans and make them quiet. Hopefully, we can make them edgy. We’re looking forward to it. It’s great to see fans back in the stadium."  

Manchester is in Tier 3 and therefore we, unfortunately, will not be able to welcome fans for the Manchester derby in our next home fixture.

The Government will review its decision on which areas belongs to each tier on the 16 December. The Reds host Leeds United four days after and that could be the game where we see fans returning to The Theatre of Dreams.

"Of course, we want it at Old Trafford as well," Ole emphasised during his press conference. 

"Hopefully, we’ll get that soon because football is not the same. It’s not been the same. Of course, we’re a bit bruised and disappointed after Wednesday night, but, hopefully, we’ll be ready to go again tomorrow [Saturday]."

Woodward: Fans are crucial to fabric of game


United's executive vice-chairman says this extraordinary year has underlined just how important supporters are.

United captain Harry Maguire has echoed the thoughts of his manager.

“I can’t wait,” the skipper told us. “I’ve missed the fans, especially at Old Trafford. When it’s full it’s booming, they really are the 12th man and they help us out. Our home form hasn’t been great without the fans, so as soon as we get them back it’s going to benefit us I’m sure.

“It’s not the amount we want, we wanted a full stadium but it’ll be nice to see 2,000 and it’ll definitely be a lot better than playing in an empty stadium.”

Your team news update before West Ham


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer offered an update on Marcus Rashford during Friday's pre-match press conference.

Alex Telles also spoke about the prospect of having fans back at Old Trafford in Thursday’s United Daily.

“Yes, absolutely, it’s something we are very much looking forward to and, as a fan, to see them coming back is great and, as an athlete, you want the support in the stadium.

“Since I arrived, I have wanted to feel the atmosphere at Old Trafford and to have all the fans at the stadium supporting us.”

West Ham v Manchester United kicks off at 17:30 GMT on Saturday and you can watch all the pre-match build-up on MUTV.