Everything Ole said before Liverpool's visit
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says it's not his concern if Liverpool's task of qualifying for next season's Champions League is now more difficult, after Manchester United lost to Leicester City on Tuesday.
The Reds picked a much-changed side against the Foxes in the midst of a fixture pile-up and suffered a narrow 2-1 defeat, which means the Merseysiders must win at Old Trafford on Thursday if they are to have realistic ambitions of a top-four finish.
Solskjaer, when asked if he expects a backlash from Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool supporters for his decision to rotate, said he's only thinking about United, our players and our fans.
He also spoke about Harry Maguire and Edinson Cavani in his pre-match press conference, which you can read - and watch - in full below...
Hi Ole, you were talking about Harry Maguire before the game. Are you optimistic that he’s got a chance for the Europa League final, or even a league game before that possibly?
“The good news was it wasn’t broken. There was no fracture, but a ligament injury of course is serious as well. If I’m very positive - that’s maybe stretching it - I’m hopeful that he might be ready for it. I don’t think he’ll play in the league again before [the end of the season]. We’ll do everything we can to get him ready for the final.”
Just on Harry. He’s going to be desperate to play in that Europa League final but also he’s got the Euros in the summer. How do you manage that club and country thing? Is it up to him whether he’s fit enough to play that final or do you have to look after him long term?
“You always try to look after players long-term. If he’s fit, he’ll play for us, if he’s not he won’t. As I said, we’re hopeful that he’s ready. If he’s ready for us, he’ll probably be ready for the Euros. Norway are not in the Euros, so I’m not really that concerned [about the Euros].”
Hi Ole, you said you weren’t able to go full throttle tonight [versus Leicester] due to the obvious time issues. Are you going to go full throttle on Thursday and make another set of sweeping changes?
“There will be changes of course but many of the players that played tonight did really well so they’re in contention as well. It’s about managing the squad now and building momentum, building confidence, making sure we get enough points to get second and then going into the final confident.”
“Well, I think we’ve seen the last few months what we can expect and what we’ve wanted from him. Next season, he’ll come ready. He’ll be fit when he comes pre-season. This year, he had seven months of no football to catch up and that’s not easy – he’s had a couple of niggles because of that. Just the same: professionality. He comes in every day, he does everything right. The boys will look at him. He gives us a no.9 position. I don’t know how many games we’ll get out of him but, of course, he’s one of the best no.9s in the world at the moment.”
“My job’s for Man United. My concern is the Man United fans, what they think about my team, what they want from my team and that we come together as one. I’m sure what Man United is.”