Solskjaer's post-match press conference
Ole faced the media after his United side's comfortable victory over AZ Alkmaar...
Ole what did you say to the players at half-time? Nah, there wasn’t any cup’s flying or anything. We just had to get the troops together and get back to what we’re good at. And more aggressive, more urgency without the ball and more composure on the ball, because we were slow off the ball first half, too rash with the ball. Just kept giving it away. With the trip to Kazakhstan enabling you to rotate players and finishing top and avoiding Inter and Ajax, is that the perfect group stage for you in the Europa League? So far yeah, they’ve done great the boys. The team in Astana as well played really well. That’s the only game we’ve conceded in, and that’s something we’re proud of. There’s so many games in this league, so many games in December especially. I think we have 11 in 34 or 35 days. So to have such a squad that you can change nine and still win comfortably, 4-0, is a testament to the players. Ole, what can you say about Mason Greenwood, that was another superb display? I’ve probably said it all before, so nothing new. That’s what he does and tomorrow he’ll probably go in training and score a few more. He’s always done it, it’s natural for him, he’s a natural footballer but the closer he gets towards goal the more dangerous he is. Right foot, left foot, nightmare probably for defenders. He needs to develop his heading and then he can be a proper striker. Have you seen anyone as good at him at that age? I’ve seen a few good ones, yeah. I’ve played with Wazza [Wayne Rooney] myself, obviously but natural finishing he’s one of the best I’ve seen yeah. Did you have to think carefully about keeping him because during the summer people thought he might well go on loan? No. There was never an intention of him going on loan. That decision was made early in pre-season, or even towards the end of last season. I knew we’ve got a top talent there and I think this club is the best at recognising that and for developing talent like this. There’s no better place for him to be than here. I know you’d rather be in the Champions League, but do you think being in the Europa League has allowed your young players to develop further than what they might have done? Of course, you’ve got to make the most of your situation. We knew that this year is going to be with Europa League and they’ve had some great experiences these kids. They’re developing and they’re learning. They must have learnt so much from the difference between the first and second half today, even. That second half is more Man United. The first half is not our identity, we don’t want to look like that team. It was probably before your time but Fergie used to complain about the foreigners rule in the Champions League, but it allowed him to play players like Nicky Butt. Is that something that’s helping your players now and allowing them to be pushed a bit further forward? Yeah, definitely. They need games against men, against professional players. Under-23 league that can take you so far and then the EFL Cup, we don’t have too many games for them. They’ve taken a massive stride and of course today you’ve got Ethan [Laird] coming on. I thought he looked like a proper man out there. Jimmy [Garner] looked good as well, Brandon [Williams] you forget he’s still a young kid that didn’t even come on the pre-season tour. He’s establishing himself in that little group there. You’ve said before you left yourself short up front with Alexis and Romelu leaving. Is Mason’s development making you think twice about needing to strengthen up front? We’re needing to strengthen in many positions. If you look at our squad compared to the others, we’re getting there but we still need two or three players to have a squad with enough numbers and to rotate through a long season. You’ll probably see what we sign. How do you handle him now after Colchester and with Europe being shelved until February. Colchester might be the last obvious game you play him against… He played against Tottenham and he was class. I’m not afraid of playing him in the Premier League, not at all. But it’s about sharing the minutes and finding the right minutes for him and of course he’s ready to play in the Premier League. Is it fair to say he won’t play against Lincoln in the Youth Cup tomorrow night? Yeah, I don’t think Lincoln need to worry about him, no. How do you approach the rest of the competition now from here, with the youngsters, with the closer it gets to a semi-final, a final… They’ve not put a foot wrong, they don’t give me any reason to not play them as much as I can. It depends on who’s injured, who’s fit and how we’re doing, who needs games. Today was about they needed games. We wanted to win the group but I felt confident we would do that. But all these needed games and you could see that in the second half.