Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has urged his players to brace up for the task ahead of their Manchester derby against champions, Manchester City on Wednesday at Old Trafford.
The Red Devils who suffered a humiliating 4-0 defeat to Everton at the Goodison Park last weekend, will be hoping to revive their top four hope when they host the Cityzens who are on course for a treble this season.
The rescheduled game will be one of the key factors that will decide the outcome of the Premier League title between Manchester City and Liverpool.
Solskjaer in his pre-match conference said he is aware of the intensity the game will bring as there will be lots of fouls as well as a high level of defence.
He said, “The City game is the perfect one. There’s no hiding place on the pitch and our fans will back you whatever the result will be, so long as you give that effort against a City side that has been very good. We have got to turn up.’
“We have got to be ready for their pressing. They have got quality on the ball so we have got to defend well, and when we win it we have got to be ready for their aggression.
“They will snap at your ankles and heels and kick you. They are not going to allow us easy counter attacking because there will be fouls, I have absolutely no doubt about it.
“When you watch those games they commit so many players forward and they will be stopping us as high as they can I think.’
On returning his team back to winning ways after their awful performance against Everton, the Norwegian said, “How do we go forward, that’s what we’ve got to focus on. ‘We have to look back and reflect on what happened. That was one of two really bad games since I came in – that and Wolves (in the FA Cup).
“Those are the two we were nowhere near the standards. We have to bounce back and look forward to two great games. This is the main focus, a local derby, and we’ve got to be ready.
“We’ve been here now for about four months and it’s been a great four months. We’re learning all the time but still with the same focus of thinking and planning forward.
“How do we get back to where Man United want to be? The identity, standards and professionalism we’ve set. Games like the Everton one happen and the response has to be there.
“We have to try and provoke or inspire a reaction. We haven’t had time to work on the pitch because you need recovery at this stage of the season, so it’s about changing mindsets and making sure heads are ready.’