Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits that Manchester United have conceded ‘some bad’ goals recently … and urges the team to take Sir Alex Ferguson’s advice and stay on fire throughout the game against Liverpool.
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has urged his team to cut concentration lapses
- Manchester United have sent several soft goals in their last matches.
- Solskjaer wants players to follow Sir Alex Ferguson’s advice to stay focused
- United take on Liverpool on Sunday after keeping just a clean sheet this season
Manchester United are working overtime on their defense against Liverpool today with one of Sir Alex Ferguson’s famous mantras ringing in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s ears.
United face Jurgen Klopp’s undefeated side at Old Trafford having conceded six goals in their last two games and kept just a clean sheet this season, against Wolves in August.
Solskjaer admits it is a major concern and insists that toughening up is a priority so United do not fall seven points behind their rivals this afternoon. United were defeated 4-2 in Leicester last weekend and then had to fight 2-0 against to beat Atalanta in the Champions League on Wednesday night.
Cristiano Ronaldo was the hero when Manchester United came back to beat Atalanta 3-2
But Liverpool are in even more impressive form and will arrive at Old Trafford with confidence.
“We know we were too open against Leicester, too easy to cut,” Solskjaer said. Lately we have conceded some bad counterattack chances and set pieces goals, and that is something we are working on and we have to correct.
“The funny thing is that this season we have had more players behind the ball than last season, but we have been easier to play.”
Solskjaer says his players recognize the problem and is using some of the conversations from Ferguson’s former team to try to fix it.
“When Sir Alex gave his team talks, he mentioned concentration on all of them,” Solskjaer revealed.
He always said that you have to play with concentration. That’s more than 90 minutes in each game, every few days. That’s your standard, that’s what football has become.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hopes one of Sir Alex Ferguson’s famous mantras will help his side
‘We have conceded goals that we could have definitely avoided. We are working to improve, the boys agree on what we have to do and are giving their best.
‘Sometimes, like against Atalanta, they have two chances and score two goals. But all teams will create decent chances against you and we have to focus. If you give them some for lack of concentration, that is not enough.
“ We are competing at such a high level that if you shut down the equipment for a fraction of a second, you will be punished. That is the difference between this level and the next: focus and concentration.
‘It’s about being on the front foot, aggressive, winning your tackles. We showed a lot of that character and belief on Wednesday night. ‘
United were beaten 4-2 by Liverpool on Klopp’s last visit to Old Trafford when they matched Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly in the middle. This time the pattern Harry Maguire is available, although there are doubts about the physical fitness of Bruno Fernandes, Fred and Marcus Rashford.
Mo Salah got it right the last time Liverpool visited Old Trafford, beating United 4-2
An additional significance for the match is that Liverpool are aiming to level United’s all-time record of 20 league titles this season.
“It is a huge rivalry for the history of the two clubs and the amount of trophies we have won,” added the United manager. “You have to raise your hands and say that it is a very good club and a very good team. And you have to make sure that you are better than them. ‘ Jadon Sancho will hope to start just his fourth Premier League game after a slow start following a £ 73 million move from Borussia Dortmund.
“I’m looking forward to seeing it flourish, because it will,” Solskjaer said. “ He’s had moments with us that had the crowd on the edge of their seats. Can you add the next bit? Yes, I am sure and it will.
‘I hope we improve in the coming months. Cristiano (Ronaldo) has been here for a month, Jadon has been here for two months, Marcus has just returned. Edinson (Cavani) had a longer period before he could join us.
Solskjaer believes there are few better in the penalty area than Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani
“It’s exciting to have these types of players to work with. So it’s about finding the balance. Edinson and Cristiano are two of the best boxers in world football and you have exciting wingers and scorers ”.
The last game between United and Liverpool was delayed for 11 days as thousands of anti-Glazer protesters managed to enter the Old Trafford pitch.
There were posts on social media from fans earlier in the week urging a repeat this afternoon, while the Greater Manchester club and police have come up with plans to avoid disruptions. However, the victory against Atalanta has reduced the threat of a massive protest.