10:30 AM BST, Old Trafford
With the reds raring to go at the King Power to secure their berth for a place in Europe’s elite competition, the gaffer sat down with the journalists to give his final thoughts before the high stakes fixture against a Brendan Rodgers team that has well-exceeded expectations this season.
Q. Good morning Ole. It’s been a very hectic period mentally and physically, how are you and your players coping with it and also should we be expecting any absentees for Sunday?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer– When you play football games and you win, you enjoy yourself you experience a surge of momentum, you are going. When you are playing such a difficult league everything is not gonna go in a linear projection and for us, we have reacted well to some games at home is 1-0 down which has been positive. We have enjoyed away games, obviously, we didn’t enjoy the Chelsea game but it just goes to show how far we have come along as a squad how much we have grown over this season and now it is the last game of the season we are going to go in with a positive mindset. Axel and Phil Jones remain to be out.
Q. Ole I was just wondering whether has there been any tiredness creeping in the squad over the past two games because you have not been able to get a positive result in both of those matches and you haven’t been able to make substitutions and rest your squad either which was helping you to play the same 11 week in week out?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer– I think confidence level has to be high because we have given ourselves a pretty good position to go into the last game of the season, and speaking of the last game of the season, it’s always expected for players to come in with some aches and bruises although this season has been different we have enough energy for 90 minutes plus extra time, I am sure of that. But of course, being so far behind before the lockdown or the restart we had to go for everything being behind on points goal difference, it been a great effort by everyone getting to this position and now there is one game to go.
Q. Looking back to the start of this season do you think you have gotten the maximum performance out of this group of players given this clubs history and is it acceptable?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer- * chuckles* Let’s get this game out of the way and then assess the growth of this team. Of course, we have had some bumps along the way this season but we have shown we can come back and that this team is going places and if we can wrap up the season with a third position finish and a trophy in Europe that would be very good for us.
Q. Ole what would be your opinion on the overall lack of fans coming to the games and whether it would have influenced the West Ham game?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: Of course it would have, our fans are the best in the world with the Stretford End wishing in every goal, yes we have seen the effect of not having fans in the stadium?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: I think all the players in the league have just gotten used to it haven’t they, both home and away games feel the same and football isn’t the same without the fans. They are just a part of football and the energy and mayhem level is not there now which would have powered us through to go the extra mile against West Ham and Southampton. But we will get there again and we will give it our all on Sunday and prove to our fans that they have something to look forward to.
Q. Hi Ole, I just wanted to ask you have a break after the league ends before the Europa League starts so what are your plans for that period?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: Recharge your batteries! Its gonna be a few days off for the lads they have churned out a tremendous effort for the club and the fans and they need to just go away for a bit and get some rest both mentally and physically. The game we have, we have a 5-0 lead so it’s not like we are gonna go in with a high-pressure mentality to chase the game, we just need a proper football performance and its gonna be okay.
Q. Gary Neville said that this squad needs 3-4 more players to challenge for the league title next season, do you generally agree with that?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: I don’t have time for that honestly, to discuss next season the only priority for me the club and the players in the final game on Sunday against Leicester.
Q. Given the size of this challenge for you before the season and the bumpy campaign you mentioned- has this been the most enjoyable campaign for you as a manager given where you have ended up at?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: We have not ended up anywhere! There’s one more game to show that we have become a better team. If we get a result against Leicester, I think everyone would agree that this journey has been good. But after that it’s not gonna be a laid back attitude, absolutely no it’s gonna be get up and go again, we know that there are two teams ahead of us and we need to step it up even more.
Q. Coming back to the Burnley game, I think you had won nine in 24 and are now unbeaten in the league-what do you think has been the most important factor in that turnaround?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: Belief. I think if you look at the game against Burnely, we should have won that one. That’s just football and The Premier League, you have to take your chances. I think the belief and confidence and the change of atmosphere obviously along with Bruno coming in has made a massive difference. We have got our best players fit and raring to go. The boys have believed in themselves and us and worked hard to get the results, the mental and physical robustness is much improved than last season