Solskjaer on Carabao Cup importance said:It’s always a good question - how important is it and then I can ask very. The next game is always important, the semi-final is a chance to get to a final, next round and for this team it would be a very, very big step, getting hands on a trophy, developed a lot in last 12 months, since last semi, not just learning to win semis, we’ve earned the right to go all the way with performances, confident with form so no excuses.
Of course, you play football to win trophies, to get your hands on a trophy even though when you win you move onto the next one but it gives you hunger to win more, squad is focused, ready to give it a go and prepared well for this game.
Team news as two players ruled out vs City said:We’re disappointed not having Edinson involved, he’s probably the only one and Phil Jones who’s been very out for a long time, the only two not available for selection, which is a good situation to be in.
Solskjaer on Fletcher's appointment said:He’s got the Manchester United DNA and there was a spot open because Mark Dempsey has moved to the academy, we felt he was so valuable there, brilliant in the academy in helping out, when this opening came, Darren has been away from the club for a few years, doing coaching with the 16s and experience of being here through successful and difficult times felt right time. It’s important we bring ex-players that have been somewhere else, I’ve been somewhere else after working with Mike Phelan, Sir Alex and Carlos, different ideas and Fletch put his ideas and will improve us in the backroom staff.
Straight knockout vs City said:You have two teams who wanna get to the final, we’ve had four days now after Villa so hopefully we’ve got more fresh legs, difficult season but we’ll benefit from rotations made, that’s gonna be important with having fresh legs, with City against Chelsea, the freshness and sharpness and intensity they had, quality, physically, intense games in the league this season and no surprise there because they had a few extra days to prepare. Two teams that wanna go through, last game showed two teams with respect for each other, they’re not as possession based against Chelsea, more counter-attacking, we’ve got to be aware of that as well as possession game.
Solskjaer thoughts on another national lockdown said:It’s a hard and difficult situation for everyone, last year since March until now has been a testing time for everyone and we are privileged to play football under protocols, hopefully we can continue, mentally it would be a release to watch games in full lockdown again, hopefully we can continue, but we have to work hard to stay in guidelines and keep the show on the road.
Overcoming three semi-final defeats last year said:When you get to a semi you’ve done a lot of good work to get to a semi-final and you play better and better opponent, we’ve improved immensely in a year since last semi when we were in Europe in August. For me, it’s a step closer to get to the final, developed a lot, easy to say have we learned but not about learned, it’s about fine margins in those semi-finals as well, when you win games of football you don’t think about it’s a semi-final or a normal game or a league game or a quarter-final, you just wanna win it.
Solskjaer on United's progression vs City said:I’ve seen progress, sometimes the results don’t show the whole picture of the game, some of our counter-attacking goals and in the wins we’ve had have been brilliant, away in the league when we won we could have scored four or five in a 10 or 15 min period, a few of the counter-attacks were out of this world, but had less control of the ball.
The last game was more or 50-50, cagey game from both teams but I felt that was a progression having stayed more in the game.
You never know what kind of system he’s gonna come up with but you’ve got to defend really well against Man City, it’s hard to keep the ball in their half, gotta be brave compact, trust your players, play out of their press, they’re one of the quickest ones to put the counter pressure on. We’ve found that balance, didn’t have X factor last game, maybe because they were set up to counter-attack as well. Been some fascinating games and feel we’ve got closer and closer and results you can’t control.