Manchester United travel to Anfield on Sunday to play the defending champions Liverpool in what could be a title deciding game of the season. The Red Devils are at the top of the table following their midweek win against Burnley, while Liverpool have picked up just 2 points from their last 3 games.
Having topped the table for the first time since 2013, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has urged Manchester United not to be complacent for the remainder of the season. Speaking to Manchester United’s official website, the Norwegian said “There’s been loads of hard work and loads of patience to get to the position we’re in now.”
“But it’s like if you climb Kilimanjaro or Mount Everest and you get to the top and you sit down and relax – what happens then? You’ll freeze to death. So now is the time to push on and go again. There is a definite shift in mentality of the boys that we can believe we can go on to bigger and better things.”
On team selection
Solskjaer confirmed Brandon Williams will miss the trip to Anfield, and added “There are loads of headaches but they’re good headaches because at the moment we are playing well and we’ve got good players who are knocking on the door wanting to play more.”
“I’ll give everyone a chance to prove their fitness and hopefully we can be at full strength. There are a couple that are doubts, but we’ll see on Sunday who’s fit.”
On United’s mindset and confidence
The Norwegian admitted it’s a huge challenge to defeat the champions, who haven’t lost a game for over three years at Anfield. He added “The boys have to be confident going into the games when you get results and performances like we’ve had. It’s human nature.”
“Confidence is not just something you can give them, they work to get that confidence. That’s not one that you just turn up to and win because we’re confident. There is much more than that which has to go into the game and preparation.
“It’s about the mindset and how you prepare your head for every single little moment because we know in these games that small moments can decide them.”
On his experience as a player
Solskjaer admitted he was excited by the intensity of the big games during his time as a Manchester United player. The Norwegian added “I loved it. I loved playing in big games, I didn’t play many of them because loads of times I was on the bench coming on.”
“I played when Diego scored a couple and I absolutely loved the intensity of it and celebrating in front of our fans. I was on the bench when Pally scored a couple of headers too.“
On the impact of fans
On asked about the impact of not having fans in the stadium, Solskjaer said “I think the results over the last year or nine or 10 months or so have shown how important the fans are.“
“The win-rate away from home compared to home, shows that the fans do play a big part in football and the passion that they give. I cannot wait to get everyone back, but in the meantime we’ll do whatever we can to please everyone who is at home.”