Solskjaer says United can make a go of winning Champions League
‘If we keep working every day in training, we can improve and maybe surprise a few’
Manchester United’s caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer attends a press conference at Old Trafford ahead of the Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain. Photo: Franck Fife/Getty Images
Champions League Round of 16 first leg: Manchester United v Paris Saint-Germain
Kick-off: 8pm. Venue: Old Trafford. On TV: Virgin Media, RTÉ2 and BT Sport.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær believes Manchester United can make a surprise tilt for Champions League glory as his team prepare to face Paris Saint-Germain in tonight’s last-16 first leg at Old Trafford.
United’s best recent performance in Europe’s blue riband club competition came five years ago when, under David Moyes, they reached the quarter-finals, having last played in the final when losing to Barcelona in 2011.
Asked if United can go to this year’s showpiece, Solskjær said: “The squad is very capable of winning against any opponents. When we go into games confident as we are, we are looking forward but we can’t look too far ahead.
“We have to look to PSG and make sure we go through this one and then take the next challenge as it comes. I said to the boys: ‘If we keep working every day in training, we can improve and maybe surprise a few [teams].’”
Since becoming interim manager before Christmas Solskjær has won 10 of his 11 games in charge, drawing the other. The unbeaten run has lifted United into the Champions League places in the Premier League, the team having been 11 points from fourth when José Mourinho was sacked.
“I don’t think we could be in a better frame of mind and [we are] looking forward to the next few games,” Solskjær said. “I have loved every single minute of it. We knew we had a big challenge in front of us because we were far behind in the league, confidence was low after Liverpool [a 3-1 defeat that caused Mourinho’s removal] but they have responded fantastically.”
After PSG, United travel to Chelsea for Monday’s FA Cup fifth-round tie before hosting Liverpool the following Sunday. Solskjær said: “We are going to play against some top teams but now we have to just focus on this one. It has always been like that. It has been one of the big pluses that the players are focused on the next task all the time.
“When you get here [as manager] you expect to win every single game when you have the players you have, and the size of club.” – Guardian service