10:30 AM, Old Trafford Greater Manchester
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has held his pre-match preference to preview Manchester United’s penultimate Premier League game of the season, against West Ham on Wednesday night.
The manager sat down with reporters earlier this morning to look ahead to the Old Trafford outing and our final home game of the top-flight campaign.
Below you can find the entire summary of a 6-minute press briefing attended by the United manager itself.
Question 1: I will start with the West Ham and the job that David Moyes has done- it looks like they will be a Premier League side again next year. Does he get enough credit for the job that he has done?
To this Solskjaer chose to remain tight-lipped over all the hullabaloo surrounding David Moyes but he did appreciate the job he’s done in preparing a well-drilled West Ham side after the lockdown, making note of their wins over Norwich Watford and Chelsea finishing off his judgment by saying that David Moyes has done a fantastic job.
Question 2– In terms of yourselves, if you can come through West Ham and Leicester, you’ll be the only Premier League side to come through lockdown unbeaten in the league. Is that an achievement in itself given how quickly the turnover has been for these matches?
Solskjaer remained humble as ever while responding to this question, stating that so far his young united side have done very well post lockdown and if they get unbeaten in these next 6 days its them in the Champions League hence him and his young red devils are only focusing on that .
Question 3– How Eric Bailly is doing after that blow to the head and are there any other injury absentees? (by Sam Peach, Chief Football Writer from Pa Media)
OGS- Eric stayed down in London for all the checks. I didn’t see him yesterday. He’s following the protocols that are needed. I don’t think he’ll be ready for this game. I’ve not seen him this morning yet because this is before we meet the players.”
Question 4- Is anyone else unavailable? You’ve spoken about mental strength a lot and how it’s required from a Man United player, so how has David responded to the setback the other day?
Ole had a positive response for this question as he assured millions of reds around the world that they have come out of all the fixtures unscathed except from a few obvious ones and that now they just have to stick together for this last ride of 6 days .
Question 5– How does David cope with the fallout from the weekend? (by Simon Stone, BBC)
OGS – Based on experiences from previous press conferences Ole was adamant today to not make it a David De Gea post-mortem analyzing briefing by firmly stating that the team is going to stick with David for the rest of the season and De Gea knows that he has to be mentally ready now for the upcoming games.
Question 6- It’s a crucial part of your team. I appreciate you might not want to talk about, but everyone else is…
OGS- That’s your job to talk about and write about. It’s my job to prepare the team for West Ham and that’s what we’re doing. I’m just focusing on that one and we’re not going to talk about individuals. No one here is going to feel that we’re putting more pressure on them.
Question 7- What are you looking to rectify from Sunday’s performance at Wembley? (James from Talk Sport)
OGS-When you lose a game you’re hurt and disappointed. You’ve just got to focus on the next thing. A defeat isn’t the end of the world – it was the end of the FA Cup dream and the final, but now it’s business as usual and onto the next game. We’ve had so many setbacks as a club before. We’ve lost big games before and we’ve turned that around and that’s what we need to do now.”
Question 8- How important is Champions League football for United, for you, for the players, for attracting players and for the financial structure of Manchester United? (Andy Mitten, The Athletic)
OGS-There’s always.. you want to be part of the biggest tournaments; play the biggest teams. That is an attraction in itself, but Man United is attractive enough. I think everyone can see we’re on a journey towards something better. I think so, anyway. It’s in our own hands. I don’t want to talk about how much it will mean financially, or to attract people. We just have to focus on these next two games and we’re there.”
Question 9- You last lost a game in January – a lot has changed since then. Are these players more mentally strong and more resolute than they were back then?
OGS- I think we’ve grown over the whole season. The additions of Odion, Bruno, and Paul coming back, Marcus coming back, is a strength for us. We are better as a group and more robust and resilient. The proof is in the pudding and we’ll have to see on Wednesday how they perform.”
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