Saturday, March 23, 2019

Solskjaer sure Man Utd ready for feast of February football

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 1 Feb 2019

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is confident Manchester United are equipped to deal with a challenging February schedule.

The Red Devils are yet to lose since Solskjaer was named caretaker boss following the sacking of Jose Mourinho in December, winning eight and drawing one of his nine games in charge.

United’s strong run is sure to be put to the test in the coming month, with Premier League fixtures against Leicester City and Fulham preceding the Champions League last-16 first-leg tie against Paris Saint-Germain.

That fixture is followed by an FA Cup fifth-round clash at Chelsea before a blockbuster encounter with fierce rivals Liverpool on February 24.

But Solskjaer is sure United are up for the challenge.

“It’s [the squad] very equipped, we’ve had now six weeks together, found out what strengths and weaknesses we’ve got,” he said.

“We’ve risen to most of the challenges, maybe the setback of the Burnley goals we conceded will make us move to the next level because we’ve given ourselves a chance now to get into the top four earlier than we thought.

“We start with this game against Leicester, Fulham away as well and then the three big ones with PSG, Liverpool and Chelsea.

“Then you think that’s done and it’s Crystal Palace away. It’s a tough month but we’re ready, I’ve got a big squad, it’s only Marcos Rojo now who’s out for a period.”

United head to the King Power Stadium on the back of a comeback 2-2 draw against Burnley on Tuesday, the first time they have dropped points under Solskjaer.

The Foxes earned a fine 1-1 draw at leaders Liverpool and have also beaten Chelsea and Manchester City this season, and Solskjaer is aware of the difficulty Claude Puel’s side pose.

“I watched Leicester’s game Wednesday night,” Solskjaer added. “They’re a team full of energy and pace.

“Obviously they defend well, they drop back and defend so it’s hard to break them down and they’ve got the pace up front with Jamie Vardy, James Maddison, Demarai Gray, Marc Albrighton. So, it’s going to be a tough challenge but we like challenges.”

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