Manchester United have named their team to face West Ham.
From Man Utd.com
Ole, what’s the message been to your players following the game against Everton? A draw which must have felt like a defeat…
“It was a hard knock to take of course, when you concede goals at the end like this. But then again, we’ve won games at the end so many times ourselves, so you can’t really go down in the cellar. You’ve just to get over it as quickly as you can, because the performance – apart from the last two minutes and especially the four minutes when they scored two goals in the beginning of the second half – was very good. The rest of it was very good.”
Three goals scored at home, you expect to go and win. But the one other troubling note from the game was Paul Pogba limping off – what’s the update on him?
“Well, it was an injury. It’ll take a few weeks for it to heal, so he’s just started his recovery, working with the medical staff and we’ll get him back as soon as we can, as safely as we can, because of course Paul’s been very important for us. We’re not going to take any risks, but a few weeks definitely.”
It’s a blow to you and to him just after picking up January’s Player of the Month award for the club…
“Yeah, you never want to be injured, and especially now. Paul was really finding his form and enjoying his football. For us, we just have to take as many points and wins as possible when we lose players. But we’ve been very healthy and strong for a long period, so we can’t moan too much.”
And what about Eric Bailly – any progress on him?
“Yeah, he’s getting better. He’s still not available for the cup game tomorrow, we think. He’s been out on the grass and training, but we’re just going to make a decision tomorrow. I don’t think he’ll be involved.”
Is everyone else fighting fit?
“Yes, we are. There are so many games! But, yeah, everyone’s available; everyone’s trained this morning, apart from Phil [Jones], obviously.”
Is it strange to be preparing for an FA Cup game in midweek, but given the nature of the schedule right now that’s where we are…
“Yeah. We don’t really think about it as FA Cup or league – we just have to take one game at a time and freshen the team up a little bit, and then [we’re] ready to go.”
West Ham are in decent form. They might have dropped a couple of points against a resolute Fulham last time out, but they are in decent form and one of those chasing European football…
“Yeah, they’ve been impressive. Of course we watch them closely with Jesse going there, and we were really happy for him to get the start that he did. But we felt it when we played them down in London a few months back, that it’s a team that really improving under David’s coaching and you can see an organised team, a physical team. So we know what we’re up against.”
Like you, David’s been rotating his team for the FA Cup matches – do you expect that to continue?
“I don’t know! I don’t how David thinks! I think we all think about the next game as the most important one, but then you’ve got to have the long-term view as well. But I’m glad common sense prevailed, because you know when you saw [Tomas] Soucek getting sent off for that little thing… everyone knows he didn’t try to elbow [Aleksandar] Mitrovic. So I’m glad that we’re looking at these things and trying to make football a fairer and better game.”
It’s good for them he’s available, he’s been a key player. He’s been immense in the centre of the park for them…
“Very good. A goal threat, a physical threat. A good player, and I’m happy for him that he doesn’t miss three games.”
They’ve got a number of good players actually, so even if they do rotate, someone like [Manuel] Lanzini might come in, or [Pablo] Fornals. They’ve got some good technical players which obviously you saw close up when you played them last…
“Yeah, [it’s a] good strong squad. I think he’s got more or less double cover in more or less every position, which you have to now, especially this season in the Premier League and the cups that we’re playing in. So we’ll face a strong West Ham team no matter who he picks.”
But of course it is the FA Cup, and this one is under the floodlights at Old Trafford, so it should be a good night, just again without the fans…
“Yes. We’re delighted that we get home games. [It’s] less travelling. We’ve done well to beat Watford and Liverpool in the previous two rounds, and of course we want to take another step forward.”
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