Sunday 24 March 2019

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has set a challenge for his players ahead of their FA Cup date with Chelsea

Manchester United’s interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer suffered defeat for the first time at the hands of Paris St Germain (Martin Rickett/PA)
Manchester United’s interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer suffered defeat for the first time at the hands of Paris St Germain (Martin Rickett/PA)
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Manchester United interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has challenged his players to bounce back from their Champions League defeat against Paris Saint-Germain in Monday night's FA Cup fifth round clash with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Solskjaer tasted defeat for the first time as United manager as PSG secured a 2-0 win at Old Trafford, with the Norwegian suggesting the enticing last-16 game against Chelsea provides the ideal platform for his players to respond to their first setback since Jose Mourinho was sacked as United boss in December.

"You’ve got to bounce back at this club," he declared. "I hate losing games, the boys hate it, they’ve been down but there’s no point dwelling on it, there’s big games on good teams coming up and we need to dust ourselves down.

"We know there was a spell against PSG where we lost our way apart from that we weren’t too bad. You don’t panic because you’ve lost a game, you don’t change everything, doesn’t change the mindset at all, we need to keep working the way we play football."

United will take on Liverpool in the Premier League after their trip to take on Chelsea in the FA Cup, with Solskjaer declaring this can be a 'great week' for his players if they find their winning touch once more, as he confirmed Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard will miss both matches.

"We want to go down to Chelsea, we want to have Liverpool here and impose ourselves on those games," he stated. "This is a great week for us and if we have injuries, we have to deal with that.

"Lingard and Martial are out for two or three weeks. They have done really well for us, but it's a chance for anyone who plays. We need to gel a team together for Monday.

"You wanna get the best out of your best players. It’s a challenge all the time, you don’t just put every single good player in their position. We need a system to start from, a couple of players to build your team around and it might be different against Chelsea."

Meanwhile, Solskajer has stressed he is not concerned by the club's reluctance to confirm his appointment as the club's next permanent manager, as he confirmed he speaks with the club's chief decision maker on a daily basis.

Solskjaer has had a hugely positive impact since he taking over as United boss, with United executive vice chairman Ed Woodward thanking Solskjaer for helping to revive United in a statement released earlier this week, but the club remains committed to making a decision on Mourinho's permanent successor at the end of this season.

"It’s nice to hear those words, but now it’s onto the next game," said Solskjaer, as he was asked about Woodward's positive sentiments during his latest press conference. "We speak almost daily, if we don’t speak we keep in touch by all these gadgets nowadays. My focus is on the next game and not what happens after that or in the summer."

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