Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits he is wary of the threat posed by Manchester City but insists there is ‘no excuses’ for his in-form Manchester United side ahead of Wednesday’s huge Carabao Cup semi-final clash.
United host their Manchester rivals in the last four of the Carabao Cup tomorrow evening, in a rematch of last season’s semi-final in which holders City progressed before winning the competition for a third consecutive campaign.
The defeat was one of three last four exits for the Red Devils last season after also being eliminated in the semi-finals of the FA Cup and Europa League, and the Manchester United boss is keen for his side to reach a first final under his management ahead of a much-anticipated derby clash.
“Well, you have two teams who want to get to the final. We’ve had four days now after Villa so, hopefully, we’ve got more fresh legs,” Solskjaer at his pre-match press conference.
“It’s a difficult season, but I think we’ll benefit from the rotation we’ve made. I thought it was going to be important anyway this season, having fresh legs. You could see that with City against Chelsea: the amount of fresh legs, intensity and sharpness, after the break, they had.
“It showed, and that was a quality game – physically, one of the more intense games there’s been in the league this season. I don’t think that’s a surprise there because they had a few extra days to prepare for that one.
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“[These are] two teams that want to go through. I think the last game [December’s Manchester derby, which ended 0-0] showed two teams with respect for each other. They weren’t as much possession-based against Chelsea, they were more counter-attacking. They’ve got quick players on the break – of course, we have to be aware of that, as well as their possession game.”
Solskjaer outlined his intention to bring major silverware to Old Trafford this season with United having shown signs of progress this term, the Red Devils currently level on points with Premier League leaders Liverpool with a game-in-hand.
Attentions will now turn to the first major trophy of the season and victory tomorrow evening will book a Wembley final against either Tottenham or Brentford, with Solskjaer insisting there are ‘no excuses’ for his side as they bid to reach the showpiece.
“You play football to win and win trophies, even though when you win one you move onto the next,” he said.
“It gives you the hunger to get more. We have developed a lot in the last 12 months from last semi in EFL Cup.
“We are confident. We are in good form. There are no excuses.”
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