Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has stressed that a third semi-final of the season is “not good enough” for Manchester United as his side gears up for Sunday’s Europa League showdown with Sevilla.

Having bowed out in the final four of this year’s Carabao Cup and FA Cup, the Red Devils are looking to go one better when they return to Stadion Koln to take on the in-form Spaniards.

Sevilla’s quarter-final victory against Wolves was more one-sided than the 1-0 scoreline suggests, while United have had an additional day’s rest after winning by the same scoreline against FC Copenhagen in extra time.

Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

Solskjaer’s first piece of silverware in the hotseat would be a big moment on the back of United’s third-placed Premier League finish, with the 1999 treble hero underlining the fact that semi-final appearances are not enough.

“Let’s see if we’ve developed throughout the season, because we’ve had two semi-finals before,” the United boss said. “We want to go to the next step. Semi-finals, that’s a good effort, decent, but it’s not good enough. It’s not good enough for Man United still.

“The team has been developing, getting more and more hungry. Let’s make sure that hurt that we felt in both the other cups that we’ve gone out, that can be our maybe marginal difference. The difference that we want it more than them.”

Asked if his players can draw on the disappointment of their other semi-final losses, Solskjaer said: “I would think so. Well, when I lose a game or if I lose at something, you don’t want that feeling again, so I would think they’re ready for a battle on Sunday, yeah.”

United are preparing at the 10,001-capacity Sportpark Hohenberg, which is home of third-tier German side Viktoria Koln. The sweltering August heat means sessions are being held later in the afternoon rather than midday, with recovery the immediate focus as attention turns to the one-legged semi against Sevilla.

“It’s like a European Championship or a World Cup – you don’t get a second chance, there is no tomorrow,” Solskjaer told MUTV. “You just know that you have to leave everything on that pitch, which is for me fine.

“It’s a different set-up than we’re used to. We’re used to home and away, but for me this is the best scenario that we can finish this tournament. All the teams have played many games anyway, but now it’s who is the mentally strongest?

“Who looks at the opponent and he’s tired – ‘I feel tired, but he’s more tired than me.’

“You’ve got to be strong mentally, concentrated, focused and any of these games can be decided, will be decided, on marginal decisions or finishing. So, we’ve just got to keep them focused and with the right attitude.”

A number of those in United’s squad were part of the side dumped out of the Champions League by Sevilla in March 2018, when a brace from substitute Wissam Ben Yedder sealed a shock 2-1 last-16 win at Old Trafford.

Solskjaer is plotting a revenge mission of his own, having seen his Europa League dreams extinguished by the Andalusians when managing in his homeland.

“I was the manager of Molde,” he said. “We lost against them in 2016, I think it was.

“They beat us 3-0 away, we beat them 1-0 in Molde, so I’ve got something that I need to sort out with them.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Everton appoint Italian Carlo Ancelotti as their new manager

Former Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has been appointed the new manager of Premier League side Everton. The Liverpool-based club made the announcement ahead of today’s fixture at home to Arsenal, who also have a new man in charge. Spaniard…

‘Symbol of the Covid-19 era’: Viral bikini-wearing Russian nurse becomes face of sports brand

Nadezhda Zhukova, a female nurse at a hospital in Tula who made headlines in May for wearing swimwear beneath her protective gear, was offered cooperation with the brand after attracting the attention of Zasport founder Anastasia Zadorina. READ MORE: Russian women…

Villa relish day of escapism despite Carabao Cup final defeat

By mid-morning on Sunday, Euston Station was already a claret-and-blue sea. On the line to Watford Junction, Aston Villa supporters flooded out at the stop for Wembley Central, with a vibrant soundtrack of chants accompanying their walk to the stadium.…

‘Stabbed at a celebration’: Merseyside Police confirm ‘significant disorder’ in Liverpool as title celebrations turn ugly (VIDEOS)

Police were called to disperse thousands of fans celebrating Liverpool’s first English top division crown in 30 years at Pier Head after several violent incidents were reported, while the a small fire was extinguished on the balcony of the Liver…