Premier League:Pushed City until last 10-12 days and that’s quite an achievement says Solskjaer: Manchester United’s loss to Leicester City meant that Manchester City was officially crowned Premier League champions. And while congratulating City on the achievement, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer praised his boys for doing well in a season that was one of the toughest due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“You know if you want to take up the challenge with them (City), of course we have to strengthen our squad. Congratulations to them, they have had a fantastic season. I’m very pleased with my boys because they have made it into the last 10 days of the season with a Man City team ahead of us, lauded as the best in Europe. So we have done well. But we want to take the next step and it might be that we need a couple more to have a stronger squad,” he told club media and BT Sport as reported by manutd.com.
Solskjaer said the team is looking to go one step further and come back strong. He said it is no mean feat to push City and stay in the hunt for the title going into the home stretch of the league.
“That’s what we want, we want to push them, we want to go one step further. I don’t think it’s a shame when you look at their team, you don’t have to be embarrassed. They’ve had a great season — you’ve got to be big enough to say congratulations and they’re worthy champions — they have played really well this year. We pushed them until the last 10-12 days and that’s quite an achievement after losing three of the first six games. The way we had to start, there’s so many circumstances that made this a difficult season. You can’t win the league in the first eight but can you lose the chance to win the league in the first eight and, when you lose half of your first six games, it’s going to be difficult,” he said.
Coming back to Tuesday’s game, Solskjaer said: “We started off a bit slow, as you might expect, because they have not had any time to prepare for the game. Maybe there were a couple of nerves but, after they scored, we had nothing to lose and I thought we played some very good stuff and I was pleased with it. We did not have too much time to prepare and we went into half-time quite pleased but then didn’t quite get out of the traps.
“They got a goal from a corner that was never a corner. It was a throw-in. So that is very disappointing for us. I thought we played well and could have got a point near the end. Maybe we should have created more in the second half but I am happy.”
The manager is definitely impressed by Nemanja Matic’s leadership skills. “Definitely, [I learn a lot about] everyone. You see the leadership of Nemanja — he was absolutely top out there. The young kid Amad did really well, Mason [Greenwood] again he looked a seasoned professional out there. He’s only 19 but the way he has played tonight it was very, very good. He was fantastic leading the line next to an 18-year-old and a 19-year-old, he looks like a 29-year-old. I’m very pleased with him. Anthony [Elanga] was full of enthusiasm and positivity, with runs in behind and good defensive work.”
But Solskjaer feels the fixture issue needs to be looked into going ahead. “It can’t be like this again. You can’t play Thursday, Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday — it is impossible. So that’s the reason why we had to make these changes because it is unheard of. I say it again, if this game was tomorrow, no problem and if we have another game on Saturday. If you have two days in between, there is no problem but this is impossible for the players to perform at this level Thursday night, Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday. It is impossible,” he said.