‘It’s that help we get from the FA again…’: United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer makes sarcastic jibe at fixture scheduling after being made to play cup tie last night ahead of Manchester derby
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is frustrated Manchester United played on Thursday night
- The Red Devils beat Derby County 3-0 three days before they face rivals City
- Pep Guardiola’s side defeated Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 on Wednesday night
- The United manager has criticised the FA for giving City more time to prepare
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Manchester United have been left at a disadvantage in Sunday’s Old Trafford derby after being made to play their FA Cup fifth round tie last.
While Manchester City’s clash with Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough took place on Wednesday night, United’s game at Derby County was the last of the eight ties when they played at Pride Park on Thursday.
Solskjaer feels aggrieved that United have 24 hours less than City to prepare for Sunday’s derby at home, having experienced a similar issue before his team won at the Etihad in December.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is frustrated at having a day less to prepare for the Manchester derby
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side played Sheffield Wednesday on Wednesday evening
Raheem Sterling’s city side faces Harry Maguire’s United on Sunday in the Manchester derby
Solskjaer has had a dig at the FA who are led by non-executive chairman Greg Clarke
March 1: Everton 1-1 Man United
March 5: Derby 0-3 Man United FA Cup
March 8: Man City (H)
March 12: LASK (A) Europa League
March 15: Tottenham (A)
March 19: LASK (H) Europa League
March 21: Norwich (A) FA Cup
City played at Burnley on the Tuesday and United were at home to Tottenham the following night, although they still pulled off a 2-1 win at the home of the Premier League champions on the Saturday.
‘It’s that help we get from the FA again, that extra 24 hours that they’ve had,’ said Solskjaer. ‘I cannot believe why there’s a derby on Sunday and we’ve got to play Thursday night. What’s the point in that? That doesn’t level the playing field.
‘It was the same when we beat them last time to be fair. We played Wednesday and they played Tuesday. Those 24 hours are important so we’ve got to be good at recovering now.’
Asked if he has complained, Solskjaer replied: ‘No, I’ve not. I don’t think we can. It’s one of those where you get told when you’re going to play, so we’ve not got any help before this one.’
Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo scored twice as the Red Devils beat Derby County 3-0
Anthony Martial scored at the Etihad as his side won when the two sides last met in December
United face back-to-back Premier League games against City and Tottenham hoping to maintain their challenge for a top-four finish, even though fifth might yet secure a Champions League place if City are banned from Europe next season over FFP breaches.
United are currently in fifth, three points behind Chelsea who face Everton at home earlier on Sunday, but Solskjaer’s side also have Wolves, Tottenham and Sheffield United hot on their heels.
‘We’ve just got to concentrate on ourselves, keep improving and keep getting results,’ he said. ‘I know it’s going to be tight. Wolves, they’re definitely putting up a challenge as well. There are loads of teams that want to get in this top four. We’re one of them.
‘We’ve just got to be able to manage a squad well enough, and rotate well enough. These next few games are important. If you can get six points against City and Tottenham now we’ve given ourselves a good chance.’
City striker Sergio Aguero scored his side’s only goal as they beat Sheffield Wednesday 1-0
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