Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would welcome Sir Alex Ferguson giving his Manchester United team talk on Sunday, to hammer home just how much it would mean to beat Liverpool.
United host Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday, in the reverse fixture of Jose Mourinho’s miserable last game as boss – a 3-1 defeat at Anfield. And Solskjaer says his players are up for denting Liverpool’s Premier League title hopes although he is open to additional inspiration.
‘We know how big the game is for Manchester United, the staff and supporters. We want to build this team into one that is worthy of United’s history and it’s another step if we can win this at home. The gaffer (Ferguson) would be welcome to talk to the players if he wanted to because we know how much it meant to him to overtake Liverpool.
‘I played in a few of these myself and I know the magnitude of it. We’ve been looking forward to it. We have to stay focused and controlled – but with some fight in us as well,’ said Solskjaer.
Asked if he would prefer Tottenham to win the title ahead of Liverpool and Manchester City, Solskjaer replied: ‘I don’t really get myself involved in that – but maybe!’
United expect Anthony Martial to be fit to start and are hopeful Jesse Lingard will be too despite both players initially being ruled out for up to three weeks after sustaining injuries against Paris Saint-Germain.
BRILLIANT! SOLSKJAER REVEALS PLAN AHEAD OF SECOND LEG AGAINST BARCELONA
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed his plan to defeat Barcelona in the second leg of his side’s UEFA Champions League tie with the La Liga leaders.
United were beaten by one goal to nothing in the first leg played on Wednesday.
A Luke Shaw own goal in the 12th minute was all Ernesto Valverde’s men needed to claim victory at Old Trafford.
Speaking after the game, Ole Gunnar Solskajer revealed he will be going in to the game with one thing in mind.
He said: ‘We played a good team. We know you have to defend a lot without the ball and you might be tired when you get the chance yourself.
‘We go there with one thing in my mind, we have to score.’
There is no doubt United will have to score to go through to the semi-final, but the game at the Nou Camp won’t be easy by any means.
It is expected that Barcelona will dominate the second leg, leaving United with the option of playing on the counter.
Aside playing on the counter, Solskjaer will have to rely on set-pieces in order to get a goal. This is where a player like Lukaku will be useful, given his physical presence.
It remains to be seen if Lionel Messi will be able to give a better performance after a not too inspiring first leg where he was bullied by Chris Smalling.
The United defender had prior to the game said that he was ready for the challenge against Messi, urging the little Argentine to ‘bring it on’.
Smalling showed he was ready for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner by making life very difficult for him.
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MANCHESTER UNITED BOSS NAMES THE PLAYER THAT IS ALWAYS IMPROVING HIS GAME
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has heaped praise on midfielder Scott McTominay after his performance against Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League, adding that the youngster is improving in every game he plays.
The Scotsman played the entire game as United slumped to 1-0 defeat at the hands of Spanish La Liga side Barcelona on Wednesday night.
The 22-year-old won the Man of the Match award after a commanding display against the best team in the La Liga.
Speaking after the game, Solskjaer said: ‘Scott McTominay was fantastic. Every time he plays for us he is improving.
‘He’s a great athlete, wins his challenges and quick on his feet. He started settling us to be fair [after United went behind].’
McTominay has made 17 appearances for United this season, scoring once.
He is a product of United’s academy and made his Premier League debut when he came on as a substitute against Arsenal on the 7th of May, 2017.
His first Premier League start for the club was against Crystal Palace on the 21st of May, 2017.
Solskjaer will be hoping the youngster continues to improve and gives a good account of himself if he is given another chance against Barcelona in the second leg.
With the future of Ander Herrera in doubt, United may have just found an ideal replacement for the Spaniard.
If he is consistent, his youthfulness and ability to put in enormous strength will make him the darling of United supporters.
At this stage, it is important for the youngster to avoid the distractions that come from being the centre of attention and focus on giving his best in training.
He should learn from previous United youngsters who have broken into the first team and failed to maintain and improve on the work that got them to the top.
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