Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer launched a furious rant about the Premier League's scheduling which could have cost him his job today.
The Red Devils won 3-1 away to Everton at Goodison Park to ensure Solskjaer goes into the international break safe from the axe with Mauricio Pochettino waiting in the wings.
Solskjaer was left relieved but had some things to get off his chest when interviewed by BT Sport's Des Kelly post-match.
United were made to play at Saturday lunchtime for TV purposes despite playing away in Istanbul on Wednesday night, while Manchester City face Liverpool tomorrow at 4.30pm on Sky Sports having each been in action on Tuesday in the Champions League.
Daily Star Sport has the full transcript of the Norwegian's fiery outburst.
Kelly: “You said two defeats today was like a punch in the stomach so I assume you’ve got your breath back today. That must’ve been very satisfying?
Solskjaer: “Of course it is, because we were set up to fail. I said to you before, I want to talk to you about the kick-off time, before the game, and this has set up the boys to fail. We’ve got Luke Shaw injured today because we’ve been to Turkey, we’ve had loads of games this season already. And we’ve been to Turkey on Wednesday night, back Thursday morning and we’re playing Saturday, lunchtime kick-off? It’s an absolute shambles and I can’t praise the boys enough for that character they’ve shown. That’s all I want to talk about today. Those boys, they deserve better than being thrown out here to fail today.”
Kelly: “So that’s what we saw. A bit of character from your side, from your squad, because people were talking. I’ve been talking to Harry, talking to Bruno about questions about the leadership in the dressing room, taking responsibility. You think those questions have been answered properly today?”
Solskjaer: “Authorities set us up to fail, they’ve tried. How can they set us up, after a Champions League game, Wednesday night, in Turkey, and set us a Saturday, 12:30 kick-off? You’ve got Liverpool and City, fair play, they play against each other, they played on Tuesday and play Sunday. Who is responsible? We’ve had enough of that, I’ve had enough. Players, this season, I said it yesterday, we have to understand how these players, in these times, the pandemic, how mentally draining that is, physically draining this is, and you set them up like this? We’ve lost Luke Shaw because of that.”
Kelly: “The demands on a big club are very, very difficult and….”
Solskjaer: “So set us up on a Sunday then. There’s absolutely no problem with Sunday, it’s an international break after. No argument whatsoever, it’s just a joke.”
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Kelly: “Let’s talk about the performances of the players as well…
Solskjaer: “Brilliant. Brilliant.”
Kelly: “Bruno Fernandes, two goals, fabulous performance…”
Solskjaer: “Top, absolutely top. Fantastic after Wednesday night, Thursday morning coming back. I just go back to that one all the time, and they’ve shown that today. We’ve spoken about it. They’re not going to have the pleasure of seeing us lose again.”]
Kelly: “And Cavani scored the first of possibly many goals?”
Solskjaer: “Hopefully. He’s getting better and better and sharper and sharper. Today was just trying to finish the game off because we did well.”
Kelly: “Just quickly update us on the state of the injuries. What’s Luke Shaw’s injury and could you also just clarify what’s happened to Mason Greenwood who wasn’t in the squad today?
Solskjaer: "He wasn’t feeling well last night. He looked well in training, looked OK then he reported not well, can’t travel. Luke, hamstring, that might be a long one. Rashford, I think he’s struggling.”
Kelly: “It looked like he had a shoulder injury…”
Solskjaer: “Yeah, it looked like it. That’s the demands on the players.”
Kelly: “Well you got through.”
Solskjaer: “Yeah we did. They deserve all the praise, well done.”
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