Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits he is concerned about the Covid-19 chaos at Manchester United and plans to discuss the vaccination with his players this week.
The UK government are pushing for all attendees at major sporting events to be fully vaccinated by October 1, a proposal which could also include players and staff of the teams involved.
Solskjaer admits that some of his squad are ‘not sure’ about the prospect of receiving the Covid-19 vaccination, but says he plans to hold further discussions with his players on the subject.
“Yeah, we’ve informed them and some of them are already fully vaccinated. Some are not sure,” he said. “But we’re going to have a bigger session with them now because I think it’s important that everyone knows what it’s about.”
United saw their pre-season friendly with Preston cancelled after nine players returned positive Lateral Flow tests, only for the follow-up PCR tests to be negative.
Solskjaer believes the initial positives were a ‘testing mistake’, but admits a similar situation would prove problematic once the Premier League season gets underway next week.
“That [Preston] I think was a testing mistake because all nine tested positive and then the next day when we did a proper PCR test they were negative but if that happened the day before the first league game that would be a problem,” he said.
“That’s not our fault what happened but it’s cost us preparation time, it’s cost us a couple of days away from the training ground. So when you say the summer has been perfect, it’s not been perfect because the world is not perfect.
“Footballers have been privileged – when the rest of the world has been closed we’ve been able to play but now we have to be really careful. It’s a sacrifice we’ve got to make to play football. It’s a difficult situation because players’ lives are not normal.”
Solskjaer added that the safety precautions mean his side can not interact with fans as they would wish as Old Trafford prepares to return to full capacity against Leeds on August 14, conceding his team must remain aware of the implications of catching the virus.
“Signing autographs for the kids, taking pictures with them, we want to do all that but we can’t,” says Solskjær. “For the Leeds game, Old Trafford will be full, fans will be outside, we want to engage with them but we can’t really because you think, ‘If I catch something here it’s a four game ban. Literally.’ So it’s such a difficult one.”