Premier League English

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: “My team has a lot to play for”

The Reds now sit second in the Premier League, ten points behind rivals Manchester City, with a game against them to come in a fortnight’s time, and are still in the running in both the Europa League and Emirates FA Cup.

When asked in his post-match press conference on the importance of the 3-1 win over Newcastle United, Solskjaer said: “We’ve had a couple of setbacks, definitely, against West Brom and Sheffield United.

“We could look back at those games and I could sit here and discuss the reasons why we didn’t get the points that we deserved, but that’s not what I want to do.

“For me, the boys are really focused, and really good at recovering mentally and physically. It’s not easy, I know that. We played on Thursday night and that’s maybe why we needed 45 minutes to get going [against Newcastle].”

The Reds’ Sunday win over Steve Bruce’s side came right after Thursday’s impressive 4-0 win over Spanish side Real Sociedad, with that strong European showing in Turin being a clear improvement on their recent domestic displays against West Brom and Everton where four Premier League points were dropped. However Solskjaer denies any notion that each different competition is approached with a different mindset.

“You can’t really walk into a stadium and think ‘we’re playing in the Premier League, so we’re in bad form’ or ‘we’re playing in the Europa League, so we’re in great form.’

“To build momentum, you just have to go on the pitch and feel that you’re playing well. That’s important,” he added.

Although currently 10 points in second place behind league leaders City, the Reds have an opportunity to get three points closer when the Manchester clubs meet on 7 March, which is understandable why Ole says of the title race: “I’m never going to say that it’s done until it’s done.

“You’ve seen so many examples of teams that just hang in there and keep working, doing their own jobs, and something might happen. It’s not something we think about, we just think about our own performances and our own games.

“That’s the only thing that we can control, but it’s not like we’re going to think ‘we’ll just lose this game because there’s no point.’ We have loads to play for and as a team we have loads to improve on.”