Solskjaer says Europa League win can kickstart Man United trophy glut
‘Hopefully this is the start of something more… players sign for us to win trophies’: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Europa League triumph can kickstart a Man United trophy glut as the final nears in Gdansk
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has issued a rallying cry to his Manchester United team
- The Red Devils take on Villarreal in the Europa League final on Wednesday night
- United are trying to win their first trophy since the Jose Mourinho era in 2017
- Solskjaer urged them to become heroes 22 years to the day after his ’99 heroics
- He also hopes Sir Alex Ferguson can be an inspiration to the squad in Gdansk
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has issued a rallying cry to his Manchester United team ahead of the Europa League final – and urged them to become heroes 22 years to the day after he scored a famous Champions League winner in Barcelona.
United take on the Spaniards of Villarreal in the Gdansk Stadium with Solskjaer looking to land his first piece of silverware as the club’s manager.
He went down in Old Trafford folklore as a substitute in 1999 when United struck twice late on to beat Bayern Munich and win the European Cup.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has issued a rallying cry to his Manchester United team ahead of their Europa League final
United took to the pitch at the Gdansk Arena for one final training session on Tuesday night
Asked what he can draw on from that experience, he said: ‘The difference is we flew Concorde to Barcelona and it was a horrible, horrible flight. I was sick and had to go to the toilet. The flight on Monday was comfortable.
‘What I learnt was: trust your team, trust your gut instinct. I’ll tell the team and the subs they might have to play a big part for us. Be disappointed and angry with me but be ready when you come on. Whoever starts enjoy because you don’t get too many finals.
‘We have five wins in Europe, we have lost twice to Barcelona, these are big nights for us. It might be the stepping stone for something better to come, a bright future because this team is a young team and it is a team we have rebuilt over the last couple of years so hopefully this is the start of something more. We know, of course Sir Alex is with us, we know the 26th of May is Sir Matt (Busby’s) birthday.
‘When it’s something positive you think it will work in your favour I think it will be a good omen for us but the players need to do their job. Maybe we can honour Sir Matt’s birthday with another win.
‘The players sign for United to win trophies, accepting the challenge to become the best, because this is the best club in the world. That’s something they are ready for, because they wouldn’t have signed here if they weren’t top players.’
Solskjaer poses with Bruno Fernandes after he completed his move to United in January 2020
Solskjaer says ‘players sign for United to win trophies’ and must ‘accept the challenge to become the best’
Sir Alex Ferguson was on United’s flight to Poland and Solskjaer believes his old boss can be an inspiration to the squad, especially after seeing his new documentary ‘Never Give In’.
Solskjaer added: ‘He flew out with us on Monday and some of the players and staff went to see his documentary – or Jason’s film about his dad – last week. I sat there thinking about this man and what he’s done for the club.
‘He’s a special man and he’s like an encyclopedia of football, even though I got him on a quiz question yesterday. One of the players got the answer before him, so I’m sure he’s not happy with that!
‘Just to have him around when we eat in the restaurant and I’m sure the players, if they wonder about something, they can ask him and he’s always available for a chat because this is the club in his heart.
‘I hope he is going to enjoy it as well because I owe most of my career to him and this club, so hopefully he’ll enjoy this night.’
Although United have made progress this season – reaching a final after four semi-final defeats and finishing second in the Premier League – Solskjaer admits that it cannot be termed a success unless his players deliver a trophy.
Solskjaer hopes Sir Alex Ferguson can be an inspiration to the squad, especially after seeing his new documentary ‘Never Give In’
Solskjaer admits this season cannot be deemed a success unless his players deliver a trophy
‘Yeah, of course,’ he said. ‘You go into every game as the next one is the most important one. This now is a final that happens to be at the end of a season. You can define the season after tomorrow. So far we’ve improved but we’ll only all go home happy if we win.
‘I think players, when they get the taste of success, when they win trophies, win something, it can go two ways – “we’ve done it now and we can relax” or, as I’ve had a few times, it just gives you more of that feeling.
‘You want more, you want it all the time, you want the feeling again with your teammates, with your club. This group of players has been working hard for a year, a year-and-a-half, together and it’s the next step for them now to go and enjoy a game like this.
‘Every player who goes into a final has the expectation and pressure to win.. We prepare to win, we plan to win, we expect to win, but I’m sure Unai (Emery) feels the same with his team and his players.
‘It’s been a long qualification to get here and it’s 50-50 when you get to a final. I’m confident, we’re ready for this. In a final anything can happen – you can concede a goal in the first minute, injury, get sent off, anything can happen. That’s the thing with a final.’
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