United 1 Leicester 0: Ole's press conference
The post-match press conference is always a fascinating watch! See what Ole told reporters about the 1-0 win...
Ole, you said in your TV interviews that by your own admission the team didn’t play well. Is the down the the character? Especially at the end? “I think you can say team spirit, character, trusting our principles. It’s the first time this season we’ve had to defend for long period and I thought we did that excellently. Of course, we want to play better than this, we want to have the ball and dominate, but sometimes you play against teams that give you problems and I thought we rode the game out well. Jamie Vardy is obviously a threat but Maguire and Lindelof dealt with him well… “I thought they did excellent today. I thought they read the game well. I’ve got loads of admiration for Vardy - he’s my type of centre forward. He runs in behind and harasses. You’ve got to be spot on with your decision making: when to stay up, when to drop off and I thought both of them proved their worth today. There were a couple of races and Harry did well against him.” He wasn’t bothered by the reception he got from the Leicester fans? “I don’t think that bothers him, no.” That does seem to be one of his attributes, that he’s really calm… “And you’ve got to be that way. That’s the same when you coach and you manage. We don’t get carried away when we win a game that we don’t deserve to and we don’t get down in the dumps when we don’t win games that we should. The performances have been miles better than this and today we just have to accept the three points and wake up with a smile, have a day off and relax a bit and look forward to next week.” You’ve had four penalties this season, it’s something like 11 per cent of United’s overall penalties in the Premier League. Can you explain what makes you get all these penalties? Because it’s not a coincidence… “I think it’s the type of players we’ve got: quick feet, good skills. Most of them haven’t been debatable. They’ve got skills and when we get Anthony back I’m sure we’ll have loads of claims. With VAR you’ll get them more than you won’t.” What does it say about Rashford’s mentality that he put it in this time? “Every striker misses a penalty. I’ve seen Maradona and Messi do it. I’ve seen Platini against Brazil and Zico - my favourite player of all time - missed in the same game. You’ve just got to be confident enough to step up next time. What’s the worst that can happen?” What did you make of his overall performance? “He gives the team something. He knows we didn’t give him the opportunities to run in behind as much today and they pushed us back. But I think he’s maturing, he knows it’s not all about the goals. Today was about sticking together as a team and being connected to the midfield and defenders because we had to defend. It was pleasing to see that we managed to defend deep without giving too many chances away. Yes, the first one: the long punt - Harry should have headed it and it was a great save by David. But, bar that, I thought we kept them away from our box well.” How important was it to get the win today even if it wasn’t a great performance? “In the end, performances don’t give you points if you don’t score goals. We’ve kept a clean sheet and if Leicester would have won today we’d have been too far behind them for my liking. With a win today we’re, at least, we’re in there and not having to put our minds in doubts. I think the boys will get loads of confidence from today.” How big a player is McTominay becoming for you? “He’s improving. I thought today he was excellent. He lost the ball a couple of times, which you expect because he’s still learning his new role of sitting midfield. But he goes into tackles, challenges and fights. If there’s a team trying to intimidate us he’s the first one there - he’s a leader. I wouldn’t want to go into a 50-50 with him.” What did you make of the way he won the ball in a wide area in the last 30 seconds? “I thought he did excellent all day. There was once or twice in the first half where he got caught on it, but he’s confident enough to carry on. I’m very pleased for him.”