Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he is keen for Manchester United to ‘prove’ they are better than their 6-1 defeat to Tottenham ahead of the return fixture with the north London side this weekend.
United travel to face Spurs this weekend looking to avenge one of the shock results of the Premier League season, Jose Mourinho’s side winning 6-1 at Old Trafford in October with Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min each scoring twice.
Solskjaer’s side took an early lead through Bruno Fernandes’, only to collapse in extraordinary fashion with Anthony Martial sent off in the first half for an incident involving Erik Lamela.
The defeat was the joint-biggest the Red Devils have suffered in the Premier League era and Solskjaer admits his side’s pride had been ‘hurt’ following an embarrassing performance.
“I think the players will remember that game with a lot of pain and their pride has been hurt,” Solskjaer said at his pre-match press conference. “Our professional pride has been hurt, the manner we lost is not ourselves and worthy of our team and we know that.
“We gave ourselves a difficult game by having 10 men. Pre-season was short and we weren’t up to the standard required, but we were so poor and I’m pretty, pretty sure we’ll see some players wanting to prove that we’re better than that [on Sunday].”
Solskjaer insists his side have improved since that showing with the Red Devils currently second, 11 points clear of Tottenham in the race to secure Champions League qualification.
The Norwegian is hopeful his side have learned their lessons from that loss and is confident United will produce ‘a better performance this time around’.
“Well, the biggest thing that we’ve improved on is our fitness levels, because we were way short of what they were at. It was our third game, was it? Third game and we didn’t look anything like us,” he added.
“And we got conned into a red card and that’s something that we have to be aware of, that we can’t react like this, because we know that in games, there’ll be situations that you’ll be wound up and we’ve learnt a lot from that. And I’m sure we’ll have a better performance this time round.”