Tottenham v United: Ole's press conference

Friday 13 March 2020 10:00

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has held his press conference to preview this Sunday’s Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspur.

The boss sat down in front of the media after Thursday’s 5-0 Europa League victory over LASK, rather than holding his media briefing at the Aon Training Complex on Friday morning as he normally does. 

As you can read in the full transcript below, Solskjaer was asked for his opinion on the Reds’ 11-match unbeaten run across all competitions and how Jose Mourinho’s Spurs are currently performing. Ole is also quizzed on the club’s injured players and when Paul Pogba might return to action…

There is a chance you can do the double over Spurs, so how do you feel the team is playing?
“I hope we can just continue our good form we’re in and the players are being so focused and doing their jobs. Of course, we’ll sit down and decide tactically what we’re going to do and which way we’ll approach the game. We want to go there and dominate obviously and be the best possible version of Manchester United.”
Highlights: LASK 0 United 5 Video

Highlights: LASK 0 United 5

Watch the goals from Ighalo, James, Mata, Greenwood and Andreas that defeated the Austrian league leaders...

You’ve equalled the best run since you started the job by going 11 matches unbeaten in all competitions…
“It’s a vital game in the challenge for top four and maybe not everyone expected us to be in the top-four challenge. Hopefully, we can prove again – I said before the City game if we get six points before the international break, it’s a great position to be in when we go into the last six weeks.”

Jose Mourinho said United were worse than last season, so would you say Tottenham are poorer than last season with their injuries?
“I’d rather not speak about other teams and other managers’ teams.”

Can you understand how difficult it is for them with Kane and Son out, because you’ve had Rashford and Pogba injured?
“I don’t talk about those two do I? I want to focus on the ones who are fit and good enough to challenge for a place in the team. It’s a chance for new players. Injuries are part and parcel in this game and you do have periods of injuries. I don’t focus on that. You do it for us. But we’ve managed well without some of our top players this season.”
You’ve delivered big results in big games and a lot more experienced managers have struggled to do that. Does that give you enormous belief in what you’re doing and that the club is going places?
“I believe we’re going places. I believe we are on the track Manchester United need to be on. There are different cultures in different clubs and different ways of doing things. I believe in the way we do things at United now. I don’t necessarily believe in everything that was done before but, at the moment, I believe in what we’re doing. I think I’m the right man. I’m not going to sit here and talk about that. The proof is in the pudding at the end of the day.”

You’ve not had a huge track record but you’ve got your tactics right in the big games…
“It’s not just about tactics. It’s about players. I’ve got great staff here and we have great discussions about tactics going into different games, with a philosophy that I think is worthy of this club. That’s for me. I think I’m a Red so I think I know what this club needs, with the staff – Mick, Michael have all played and Kieran is a fantastic coach. The discussions we’ve had, I’ve really enjoyed them and learned from them. It’s great for me, as you say. I don’t want to start talking about me anyway.”
Highlights: United 2 Tottenham 1 Video

Highlights: United 2 Tottenham 1

Marcus Rashford's double against Spurs gave us our fifth league win of the season, in December...

What’s the team news for Sunday?
“Aaron [Wan-Bissaka] will be ready, definitely. Jesse [Lingard] and Anthony [Martial], I’m not sure as they’ve not trained this week.”

You’re in a better position now with Anthony and don’t have to rush him back because you’ve got Ighalo…
“And Mason [Greenwood]. Don’t forget Mason! What a goal he scored today, by the way. Ant, we don’t know as it was a bad knock on his knee and he’s got some swelling. I hope he’s going to be ready.”

There have been dramatic changes since you came in did you feel an awful lot needed to be changed?
“I felt a lot needed to be changed, yeah. I’ve signed four players and lost quite a few but promoted some youngsters from within. I don’t know how dramatic, I don’t think it feels dramatic as the squad here feels continuity. We needed certain pieces in that puzzle and they’ve worked.”
Access All Areas: United 2 Tottenham 1 Video

Access All Areas: United 2 Tottenham 1

Our latest episode of 'Access All Areas' is essential viewing for all Reds! Watch out for two clubs icons at the end...

Will Pogba be fit for Sunday?
“No. I wouldn’t think Paul is ready, no. He’s trained today and is going to train tomorrow. I don’t think he’s had enough sessions with the team. But I had a nice conversation with him the other day and I wouldn’t think he’d be against it if I asked him.”

What about having him and Bruno together in midfield?
“Of course, you want your best players on the pitch together. I think others here as well will have their say on what type of constellation we put together. It sounds exciting and I’m looking forward to it.”

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