Solskjaer's press conference - 1.3.19

01/03/19 Reverse order Timestamp format


  1. Injuries wise, is there anything positive?

    SP Scott
  2. OGS: It's the last session today but we're not going to take any risks. So I don't know. Maybe Anthony, but it might be a few more days before he's ready. Probably the squad will look similar to Wednesday.

    SP Scott
  3. Are you looking at it game by game, with three games in a week?

    SP Scott
  4. OGS: You do have a plan, but then you get injuries and suspensions. One injury or suspension might change the whole dynamic of the team. It's a matter of seeing who's available. Selhurst Park on a Wednesday is a tough one and then it's only Friday morning, so they've not had too much recovery time. We'll make our minds up tonight on what the team will be.

    SP Scott
  5. There's been a lot of focus on David de Gea and his contract. Anything you can tell us?

    SP Scott
  6. OGS: No updates from me. The club and David are in dialogue so hopefully they'll agree. It's out of my hands. But I'm sure we'll do what we can.

    SP Scott
  7. When you have a goalkeeper like David, how important is it to keep him and get some long-term stability, because he's one of the best the club's ever had?

    SP Scott
  8. OGS: David's done fantastic since he came. The club really showed how much they wanted him back in the day when Eric (Steele)and the gaffer found him. There was probably keepers there that were better at that time, but the belief that the manager showed in him, with the criticism that he got early, just pays dividends now with the performances. He's been player of the year for I don't know how many years, the last four or five years, so we're grateful to have him. Then again, we've got Sergio and Lee, so it's a fantastic goalkeeper department that we have, so I don't think there's any manager in the world that will beat me in that respect.

    SP Scott
  9. You played with Schmeichel and were here at the start of Van der Sar's time here. How would you rate De Gea compared to those two?

    SP Scott
  10. OGS: It's difficult to compare them, but Edwin and Peter were never Player of the Year. David's meant so many points for us over the years and I would say he's the best goalkeeper in the world. But Peter was at the time and Edwin at the time as well. I'm delighted with David and his personality is fantastic. He's such a humble but confident boy.

    SP Scott
  11. Is Marcus Rashford fully fit now?

    SP Scott
  12. OGS: Yeh. He said he still felt it Wednesday night but he'll be ready, so I'll probably start him.

    SP Scott
  13. Have you had a chance to have a look at Southampton and decide what sort of approach they'll take?

    SP Scott
  14. OGS: We've had a good look at them. You’ve got to be two or three games ahead all the time. It was a big win against Fulham, he did great when he came in they had a tougher spell in February but when you win a game like this you’re confident. We need to get back to winning ways at home and we need to look at our own approach. I can't decide what Southampton are going to do because they might change but we’ve got to focus on what we need to improve on.

    SP Scott
  15. It's nearly five years since Luke Shaw joined from Southampton. He's had his ups and downs but he's come in to a run of form at the moment. What have you done differently? Is it just a run of games, is it that simple?

    SP Scott
  16. OGS: I don't know what I've done differently but yeh he's played, he’s got another couple of years in him and when he decides to drive forward and goes into fifth gear there’s no one runner quicker that him. He's so sharp. Confidence grows when you play and when you play well. I’ve been delighted with his performances.

    SP Scott
  17. I understand tha Antonio Valencia's contract needs to be triggered today if it's going to be extended by an extra year. What's the situation with him?

    SP Scott
  18. OGS: He's still not 100% fit. He's working to get back fit. He’s had a fantastic career here at Man United and England, and is one of the Premier League winners left in the dressing room but I’m not sure if Manchester United and Antonio will agree on the next year, so it depends if he gets back on the pitch in the next few months. But he’s the captain, great servant to the club so hopefully I can get him on the pitch and so he can show what he can do.

    SP Scott
  19. It was a big night for Lukaku getting the goals, but he needs to do that at Old Trafford. What's it been like for him over the last couple of days and how confident are you that he can push on now?

    SP Scott
  20. OGS: We need to get back to winning ways at home, we've done fantastic away, but at home we’ve not scored in the last two actually, against PSG and Liverpool. Romelu, I’m sure the two goals will give him a lot of confidence. I'm sure he’ll hopefully he’ll get his goal. I know he's scored the majority of his goals away this year. But Rom, Alexis, Marcus, whoever plays up there will get the chances and score goals.

    SP Scott
  21. With PSG on the horizon, with everything that happened at Old Trafford, the two goal deficit. What's your thinking this weekend with PSG coming up, in terms of selection?

    SP Scott
  22. OGS: Wednesday doesn't come in mind, whatsoever. Saturday, 3 o’clock, Wednesday night in Paris, we’ve got so much time to get our recovery in. It’s more about Wednesday night at Selhurst Park then Saturday afternoon and see if everybody is available again. So I'm 100% focused on this one, and three points in the league.

    SP Scott
  23. End of the first part of the press conference.

    SP Scott
  24. Start of the second half of the press conference.

    SP Scott
  25. You're one point behind Arsenal, five behind Spurs. How important is it to you to finish third? Of course, top four finish is the priority in terms of getting a Champions League place, but is it more important to you to finish as high as you can?

    SP Scott
  26. OGS: It's important to look upwards. Of course, the results have meant we can challenge Tottenham now for that spot. It's us, Chelsea, Arsenal. We're all chasing them. It's going to be an exciting race and every single game is going to be very important. You need to make sure to tip the balance in your way.

    SP Scott
  27. The club don't want to comment until the end of the season but you say you've planned for the short term and the long term. Have you suggested to Ed which players need to stay and go because we're coming to that point where decisions are being made on players?

    SP Scott
  28. OGS: Yes, I have. We've been discussing the future of the club. We did that before I'd won two or three games, or if I should stay or not. My contract is up in the summer, but, as I've always done for United, I've given 100% and given my best because you have to plan, even if I'm not here. I've given my view on who I'd like to see as a supporter.

    SP Scott
  29. But you'd like to be here?

    SP Scott
  30. OGS: I think everyone knows you'd like to stay, of course, but that's not decided until the end of the season.

    SP Scott
  31. It's getting to the time where the club are going to ask supporters to renew season tickets. Do you think they deserve some clarity on who the manager is going to be next season?

    SP Scott
  32. OGS: I've done a video shoot on season tickets, so I'm pleading for them to get their season tickets. If it's me as a manager, or a supporter, I don't know. But they should still buy their season tickets because the club is going somewhere.

    SP Scott
  33. The last time United were in the Europa League, they finished sixth. They struggled with the Thursday fixtures. How problematic would it be if United were in that situation again?

    SP Scott
  34. OGS: You don't want to plan for the Europa League. We're hoping and planning that we'll do what we can and what we should to get in to the Champions League for next season. We'll take that if it comes.

    SP Scott
  35. Sir Alex Ferguson used to call the last 10 games of the season...

    SP Scott
  36. OGS: Squeaky bum time.

    SP Scott
  37. We're in it now. Can you enjoy it?

    SP Scott
  38. OGS: Yes, definitely. I'm not a nervous guy. I need to relax and enjoy it. I think my players can see that I enjoy it. They've got to realise that this is the best time of their lives playing here. These are the times that Man United players step up, when the going gets tough. You sign up for challenges and to rise to those challenges when you're at Man United. We've got Arsenal away coming up, PSG away, the big games. These are the games or periods of time that might make them stay in the history of the club.

    SP Scott
  39. Do proper footballers enjoy these challenges? Is that what defines them?

    SP Scott
  40. OGS: Yeh, I think so. You could go out and perform on a stage when it matters, even if you maybe don't feel like it, that's the demands of a Man United player. You just don't perform when you feel like it. You're 1-0 down, you need to get on the ball, or you're 1-0 up and need to control the game. You realise when you finish as a footballer that every game is a chance to further your career and to show what you're about.

    SP Scott
  41. Is it strange to be asked to do promotional work for next season when you don't know if you'll be here?

    SP Scott
  42. OGS: It'll be stranger to see yourself in a video if you're not here, but no, it's not strange doing it. I think my kids, if they see a commercial with me or with me in it if I'm back in Norway, that'll be strange probably.

    SP Scott
  43. Have you been asked to do anything else or is that it?

    SP Scott
  44. OGS: That's just part of being here. As a player as well, you're not here anymore and you see your picture. That's how it is.

    SP Scott
  45. Of course, United signed Pogba when they were in the Europa League. But how important is it to be in the Champions League to attract the big players and the top names, because that's the competition they want to be playing in, isn't it?

    SP Scott
  46. PGS: Yeh, of course. All the players want to play in the Champions League. To play in the Champions League for Man United is an even bigger thing for many and we know we cannot just live off our name, tradition and history. We want to attract good players, who want to improve the players we have here. You know, Paul, David, Marcus, Anthony, all these top players that we have. They need players to challenge them. Nobody should feel 100% secure to be in the starting XI.

    SP Scott
  47. The way results have gone recently, is third place a possibility? Is that a target you've got in mind?

    SP Scott
  48. OGS: As I said before, we're five points behind Tottenham and there's 10 games to go. We've definitely got a chance to move up the table. So we'll do our best to get there.

    SP Scott
  49. How big a statement would that be for your hopes to stay here beyond this season if you could finish third?

    SP Scott
  50. OGS: Every game is a big chance for the players to say 'we want to stay' and it's the same for everyone around the coaching staff. We just want to improve everyone because that's our job. The better we do, the bigger chance there is for us to stay here.

    SP Scott