Solskjaer rages at having to ‘pick up the pieces’ of ‘unfair’ schedule

Date published: Thursday 16th July 2020 8:37 - Jonny Whitfield

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says it is unfair that Chelsea have an extra two days to prepare for Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final.

Solskajer has yet to seal silverware during his time in the Old Trafford dugout after several trophies as a United player.

United are the bookmakers’ favourites to lift next month’s Europa League, when they could complete a double if they can make it past Chelsea and go on to win the FA Cup.

But Solskjaer’s side head into Sunday’s Wembley semi-final at a disadvantage due to the scheduling.

Chelsea played Sheffield United on Saturday and won 1-0 against relegated Norwich on Tuesday. United, meanwhile, played Monday’s 2-2 draw with Southampton and face Crystal Palace on Thursday.

“There is a concern, obviously, that they’ve had 48 hours’ more rest and recovery than us,” Solskjaer said. “It’s not fair.

“We spoke about a fair scheduling going into this restart. Of course it isn’t.

“But I have to think about Thursday. We’ve got to win that one, focus on that one, and then let’s pick up the pieces after that.”

Solskjaer said Sunday’s match was “irrelevant” when it came to his selection at Selhurst Park. However, the scheduling might not be as United look to balance their Champions League chase with their FA Cup tilt.



“We’ve not really played every three days – we will now, definitely,” said the United boss, who has to assess the fitness of Mason Greenwood, Luke Shaw and Brandon Williams.

“The next two weeks will be hectic but, then again, we’re fit. Very fit. Our lads have not felt as fit as this for years, I’m sure.

“There are some young lads there that will be fitter than the average Joe and quicker to recover but the way the coaches and fitness staff have worked them over the lockdown or even throughout the whole season…

“It was a big thing towards the end of last season that we felt our team wasn’t fit enough, we got a few injuries. This season we’ve not had that kind of a problem.

“No, it’s not going to be a problem and a concern for us but 24 hours, 48 hours is a big difference at this time as well.

“We’ve not been handed four aces, to put it that way, in the last two weeks. But we’re going to have to put up a poker face and play the cards well.”

United’s trip to Palace comes after a dramatic late defeat to the Eagles earlier this season.

Related Articles