Solskjaer on United’s schedule compared to Chelsea: “There is a concern that they’ve had 48 hours more rest and recovery than us. It’s not fair”
Last Updated: 15/07/20 11:18pm
Paul Pogba knows he would not be dropped from any team in the world when he is playing on top form, says Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The France midfielder had been in impressive form since the Premier League restart, featuring in every game as United close in on a place in next season’s Champions League.
But he had a mixed evening in the 2-2 draw against Southampton on Monday, giving the ball away for the visitors’ opening goal before being substituted in the 66th minute.
Solskjaer is not concerned about Pogba’s fitness or morale but says he may consider resting him for Thursday’s trip to Crystal Palace.
“I’ve been speaking more or less every day with Paul and of course he knows that he wouldn’t be dropped. When Paul plays like this he wouldn’t be dropped from any team in the world,” Solskjaer said.
“But he has been out for a long time and there was question mark before the Southampton game. He felt ready for it and that was great. Now, let’s see how he is today and tomorrow.
“He has been fantastic since the restart and he has brought a lot to the team.”
‘Chelsea schedule not fair’
After the Premier League clash against Palace, United face top-four rivals Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final on Sunday with Frank Lampard’s side having 48 more hours to prepare after beating Norwich 1-0 on Tuesday.
Solskjaer described the situation as concerning and unfair after clubs had been reassured about fair scheduling going into the restart.
“There is a concern that they’ve had 48 hours more rest and recovery than us. It’s not fair,” he said.
“We spoke about fair scheduling going into this restart. I have to think about Thursday. We have to win that one and then let’s pick up the pieces after that.”
United squad fitter than previous seasons
Despite being handed an ‘unfair’ schedule, Solskjaer is confident his squad can cope with the demands because he feels they are as fit now as they have been for years.
“We’ve not really played every three days, but we will now. The next two weeks will be hectic, but we’re fit, very fit,” he explained.
“Our lads have not felt as fit as this for years, I’m sure. There’s some young lads that will be fitter than the average Joe and they are quicker to recover.
“Towards the end of last season, we felt our team was not fit enough and got a few injuries. This season we have not had that kind of problem.
“It’s not going to be a big concern for us but 48 hours is a big difference at this time.
“We’ve not been handed four aces in our hand but we’re going to have to put on a poker face and play our cards well.”