Solskjaer plays down title talk

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has played down the title talks ahead of their game against Liverpool at Old Trafford. United, who lost to Leicester last weekend will be seven points behind Liverpool if they are beaten by Jurgen Klopp’s men on Sunday.

The United manager revealed there are a few injury concerns after their comeback win against Atalanta in Champions League on Wednesday. He added “It was a great effort and great atmosphere towards the end, another one of the great Champions League nights at Old Trafford. A great comeback, which will bring some knocks and bruises, which normally you will expect.”

It’s still Friday, the game’s on Sunday, we’ll give everyone time. We might have the whole squad back fit, we might be two or three players down, today we didn’t have everyone. Let’s see Sunday.

Games like Wednesday night are always going to bring knocks and bruises and we do have two or three carrying knocks from that game. I’ll give everyone time, I hope I can pick from a fully fit squad, I might be without two or three. Bruno might be a doubt but he’s doing everything he can to be ready.”

Speaking on importance of Liverpool game, Solskjaer said “It’s a fact the history between the clubs the rivalry, all the trophies these teams have won, it’s a massive game and a local rivalry. I always say, being a Manchester United player, being given the privilege, honour, responsibility to wear the shirt and step out onto the pitch against Liverpool, you give everything you have. We know these games don’t need bigging up, it’s a massive game.”

A performance needs to consist of 90+ mins of attacking and defending and definitely when you play against a team at the level of Liverpool, they’re on a great run of form, some individual skills that you cannot almost defend against but as a team, we have to be compact, aggressive and give every single drop of nous, knowledge, strong mindset, physical energy.”

It’s going to take everything to get results against the best teams in the world and Europe, and Liverpool are one of them. They’re one of the teams we’re chasing. What they’ve done the last four years is what we’re striving towards and go past them. We ended up above them last season, they had a bad spell with injuries last year but are now back to their best.”

Solskjaer admitted United would prefer to reduce the gap between them and Liverpool, but insisted it’s too early to speak about title challenge. The United manager added “Every time you play for Manchester United you play for three points, to be seven behind [Liverpool] is gonna be a big distance, one point between is close but we’re so early in the season, every game matters just as much. We saw last season every team goes through a bad spell.”

This early you can’t talk about titles or anything, we are chasing them, Liverpool are one of the teams we are trying to catch up on, in the last four years, even though last season we were ahead of them maybe because of bad luck with injuries. We still know we have to improve to get up to the level of their last four years.

On asked about the comparisons between Salah and Ronaldo, Solskjaer said “I’ll always back Cristiano in any competition, he’s unique and his goalscoring record has been fantastic but that being said Salah is at the moment on fire. You see some of the goals he’s scored lately, we know we have to be at our best to defend against him. Players like this don’t come along very often.”

We have to enjoy these players from afar, not Sunday, that’s too close. Got to do a good job not just against him. I’m a big admirer of the front line they’ve had for many years now. Mane, Firmino, maybe Jota will play, they are players you have to focus on and you have to be nailed on for 95 mins to keep a clean sheet.”

Source: Manchester Evening News

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