Jul 19, 2020
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Press Conference Transcript: Chelsea v Manchester United Semi-Final
Manager’s press conference ahead of the Chelsea v Manchester United FA Cup Semi-Final match. Read the transcript of the July 18, 2020 presser with Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
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Speaker 1: (00:00)
Hi, there. Good morning, Ole.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: (00:03)
Speaker 1: (00:04)
First off, can you just tell us, is Luke Shore going to be fit for this weekend’s game, and how’s Brandon Williams doing now?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: (00:10)
I don’t think Luke’s going to make it, no. He’ll be out. Brandon, hopefully, will be able to train today, and available, yeah.
Speaker 1: (00:22)
Also, you’re only two games away from winning a trophy now. I just wonder, in terms of the belief, and where this team is, would winning a piece of silverware be more important than qualifying for the Champions League, and is that the next step that this young team needs to take, to actually win something?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: (00:42)
You can’t pick and choose. You’ve just got to take one game at a time. Of course, this is a great chance to get to the final. We’re just one step away. It’s at Wembley. We’re just focused on the FA Cup, and a trophy, of course. That’s massive for any player to win, and any team to win. That’s our main focus now, is to get to the final. And then we’ll look at West Ham, and look at Leicester after that.
Speaker 1: (01:10)
James from Talk Sport?
Ole, Thursday night was the first time we’ve seen Jesse Lingard in the leagues since early February. Is that a result of something different you’ve seen from him behind the scenes, and do you still think you can have a big future at this club?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: (01:25)
Well, Jesse is a part of the club, and he’s worked really hard, and he deserves this chance to come back in. And we know his qualities, Jesse, and we know that he’s got different qualities to other players, and he knows that we value him.
Really good record against Chelsea. You’re unbeaten against them as Man United manager. What’d you put that down to?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: (01:53)
Players. Players doing well. We’ve been focused in that particular game, or in those games. Of course, we’ve been having the margins, but it’s all down to players. When they go there and perform, they can beat anyone.
Speaker 1: (02:14)
Ole, you’ve spoken about the relationship between Martial and Rashford. I just wonder, has that flowed naturally as results have gone the way they have, and the goals have flowed, or is it something that’s been worked on more and more on the training ground?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: (02:30)
No, we work on it. Of course, we work on patterns, but they’ve been together at the club for so long now. And there was a spell, of course, they were challenging more or less for the same position. Both of them may be on the left hand side, but now we found a way of playing them together, and you can see it’s starting to click. They enjoy each other’s company. They know each other’s strengths, and they know each other’s weaknesses, if there any. I’m delighted with their performances.
[inaudible 00:03:05], as well, from the FA Cup, because an old rival is coming back into the Premier League in Leeds. I ask you about that, because of your record against Leeds United, as well. Remember the two goals that you scored at Elland Road in 2002. But the last time Leeds won promotion to the top division, Liverpool were champions, and Manchester United won the FA Cup, so I don’t know whether you go in for omens, as well.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: (03:26)
I’m not very superstitious. No, but I hope you’re right.
Speaker 1: (03:33)
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: (03:33)
Ole, you may have read the papers this morning, or seen what Frank Lampard has said, that he’s talking about the VAR decisions that have gone against him. You’ll be aware that you’ve had seven goals overturned against you on VAR. Are you worried that there might be a bit of a narrative being established here, that Manchester United are more fortunate with these decisions? Certainly Alex Ferguson would always like to put people right when he felt that there was a kind of theme developing that United were getting favors from referees. Do you feel that maybe this could be dangerous for you, if this gets into the head of officials?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: (04:23)
Well, how long have we got? I can sit there for hours now and try to talk about this. It looks like there’s a narrative. It looks like people want to influence whoever’s making the decisions. But I hear people talking about, look, that we’ve been lucky more than unlucky. Then if you look at the factual decisions… I don’t want to sound like a certain manager with talking about facts, but if you’re offside you’re offside. That’s clear. Talking about lucky, the penalty that we got against Tottenham in the last minute that was taken away from us, that might be two points for us. Talking about the red card that Romeo should have had against us, when he got Mason Greenwood almost crippled, that should have been a red card. Maybe that would’ve helped us. Talking about Mark Nobel, when he should have been sent off against us, when we lost to West Ham.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: (05:19)
Talking about the actual decision that is made, that is against Man United, but it’s too overturned and corrected. There is actually me that should be complaining that we get decisions against us on the pitch by their own field referee. There’s a narrative there, but we just have to focus on our games. We’ve let other people talk about that. I don’t want to go too much into it, because you might be in trouble for that. I hope I’m not now. I’m pretty relaxed on these, but of course, referees are going to be making objective decisions. They’re not going to be influenced by any emotion anyway, so I don’t think they’ll read it.
Speaker 1: (06:13)
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: (06:20)
Do you personally do much work with the strikers? I’ve come along to think there are similarities with their finishing style to yours.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: (06:32)
Yeah. When we split up, I do more work with the strikers than with the defenders. That’s true. I think I’ve got more of an expertise and input in that part of it. Yeah, whenever we do finishing, I like to join in and watch them, and give them a bit of pointers and tips. And of course, before every game, we look at the keepers. How do they normally act? What’s what’s their stance? When do they jump? How do they set their feet? Defenders, do they dive in? We do a lot of work, but of course, it’s the effort by the boys, and the calmness, composure. That’s the main thing there. Work on their heads. I know that they’re good enough to do it.
Speaker 1: (07:26)
Morning, Ole. Just on the goalkeeper situation, Sergio has played in all the FA Cup ties so far this season. Will he continue this weekend? And just on Jesse, he’s got a really good record at Wembley. Is there a temptation to bring him back in at the start?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: (07:44)
Yeah. The team is not selected yet. And that goes both for Jesse and Sergio. They’ve got a good chance of being involved. We’ll make a decision on that later on.
Speaker 1: (07:59)
Okay. Last couple of questions for Rob Dawson.
Rob Dawson: (08:02)
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: (08:03)
Rob Dawson: (08:04)
I’m just amazed at Greenwood. This is probably the first time in his career where he’s come to a spell where he’s played three games a week. How do you think he’s managed to cope with that? Are you concerned at all about burnout for someone so young?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: (08:18)
He’s coped really well with the demands on him. Of course, throughout the season, we’ve managed him as well as we could. He’s come back after the lockdown flying. His sharpness is there. His fitness. He’s gained a few kilos, as we all see, and he’s gained a lot of experience, and confidence in his own abilities. There’s only two games left of the league. Hopefully two in the FA Cup, and three or four in the Europa league. He’ll be fine. There’s no chance of a burnout, but he’s been excellent.