Jun 29, 2020
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Press Conference Brighton v Manchester United June 29
Manchester United Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer held a press conference for the Brighton v Manchester United match on June 29. Read the press conference transcript here.
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Ole Gunnar Solskjær: (00:01)
Just first of all, wanted to get your reaction to the FA cup draw and your result over the weekend.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær: (00:10)
Yeah. We’re delighted to be in semis, delighted to be looking at the prospect, going to a final, of course, going to Wembley for a semifinal against the team that we’ve played so many times over … Well, I’ve been here for 18 months now and we seem to play Chelsea every other weekend. So, it’s a game we’re looking forward to.
Here’s me repeating an old question, but Angel Gomes’s contract expires tomorrow. Will he be staying at the club?
Ole Gunnar Solskjær: (00:41)
Got no news, nothing. So it doesn’t look like it.
Speaker 3: (00:45)
Ole Gunnar Solskjær: (00:45)
Speaker 3: (00:47)
Hi, just want to check how you see the battle for top four going into this game, because it’s not just Chelsea that you’re chasing. It’s obviously Wales as well now.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær: (00:57)
Yeah. I think there’s many teams in that battle for third and fourth, you got Leicester, Chelsea, us, you got [inaudible 00:01:05] doing really well. Of course, I’m sure Tottenham and Arsenal and Shef United still want to put the run together and put a challenge in there. So, it’s exciting. It must be exciting for all the fans who have been waiting for so long now to have football that matters on the TV. Of course, we all want the fans in the stadiums, but at least now you can sit back and watch some exciting and important games.
Speaker 3: (01:32)
You’re on a 14 game unbeaten run. Just how much progress do you feel you’re making as United manager? Do you feel the players are starting to understand exactly what you want from them?
Ole Gunnar Solskjær: (01:42)
Yeah. The players are working really hard and they want to do as well as they can. And for me, as a team, we were trying to implement our ideas. I think you can talk about 14 games, but we’re just looking at the next one. And of course, as long as you go into the next game knowing that you won the previous one, that’s a good place to be in.
Speaker 5: (02:11)
Is Angel Gomez leaving Manchester United?
Ole Gunnar Solskjær: (02:14)
To be honest, I’ve not heard from them last night or this morning. So it seems like they haven’t managed to agree, so the answer is probably short, and yes, then.
Speaker 5: (02:32)
You can see the resilience is built up in your squad over this winning run or unbeaten run. But for Marcus Rashford, he came back from a big injury. He’s done so much. He’s almost the most special person in the country at the moment, so I don’t want to be negative about him, but is he feeling his way back into the team after a serious injury?
Ole Gunnar Solskjær: (02:51)
Of course Marcus has been out for a while, but I think he’s looked sharp. I think he came on and looked sharp again against Norridge, Shef United. He did miss, yeah, one or two chances, but that’s the goal, to create it. I think that’s what we’re focusing on, and I think Marcus is on his way to his best season ever at Man United. So for me, I’m just looking forward to him to getting more and more minutes and we can see. He’ll definitely score a goal too.
Speaker 6: (03:26)
[inaudible 00:03:26] Ole, I realize this is a strange season, and some senses it’s just about getting to the end of it. But how important is it for Manchester United to be back in the Champions League and amongst the clubs that the club regards as their equals?
Ole Gunnar Solskjær: (03:44)
Well, I think every year that you’re in the Champions League is a great experience for the players. It’s a step forward. You play against the best. Of course for us, that’s what we’re striving to do and get to as long as winning trophies. But we know to get there, we need to focus on one game at a time because there are so many teams just above us and just below us that want that place. So we don’t want to get distracted by thinking too far ahead. We just need to go one game at a time and think, when you go into the next one, okay, at least we won the previous one.
And just in terms of Brighton, United have lost their last two years, is there a reason for that? Actually given what’s happened could you be better off playing them without their fans in the stadium?
Ole Gunnar Solskjær: (04:34)
Of course there’s a reason, because they’re a good football inside. They play football and they make it hard for you. Now, I haven’t been down there now myself, so I’m looking forward to it. And fans, they do, of course they matter and they have an impact on games and football. So for us to get out of this lockdown period and get the fans back in the stadium is going to be fantastic.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær: (05:01)
But for the moment, we’ll just have to deal with the situation as it is. And maybe as an away team, sometimes it helps you that there’s no home crowd when you play away. But then again, if you’re at the bottom or sometimes the pressure of the fans can get to you and sometimes it can give you an extra edge. So for me, football is all about the fans.
Speaker 4: (05:28)
James from Talk Sport.
Morning, Ole. Luke Shaw started every single one of the last 14 games. Is he playing his best at the moment, and why have you opted not to give him a rest because a number of players have been rotated over the last 14 games?
Ole Gunnar Solskjær: (05:44)
Well, we manage the squad and manage players differently. And as you say, Luke’s had a good, upturning form. He had a spell out earlier on in the season and he’s worked his way to full fitness. He’s worked over the lockdown and is playing some good football. Let’s see if he starts this one.
Speaker 4: (06:04)
Okay. Last question from [inaudible 00:06:05].
Speaker 5: (06:06)
Have you made any changes to your preparations and tactics after the experience of a few games without crowds? Is it a different game? And do you think that the pace of the game is slower and harder to maintain momentum and would it cook games different because they’re knockouts?
Ole Gunnar Solskjær: (06:25)
The lack of fans, of course, affects the players. Some players thrive on it. There, we got Karen joining in the camera. It looks slower, I think the game without the fans. I think the noise and the crowd and the passion from the crowd helps even the view from your sofa, all the physical stats show that there’s not a big difference. I think maybe just looks it. I think the game, the ball is more in play at the moment, but you’ve got to create your own atmosphere. You got to create your own enthusiasm in there. And some players thrive with crowds. Some players relax more with no crowd and can express themselves more. So, it’s individual players and individual teams, they react to it differently.