Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is furious with the FA over match scheduling in the run up to the crucial Manchester derby on Sunday.
The manager is incredulous as to why his side were forced to play on Thursday rather than Wednesday night in the FA Cup, thereby giving United 24 hours’ less recovery time than their neighbours.
‘Then again it’s that help we get from the FA again, the extra 24 hours they have had’ the Norwegian said at the pre-match press conference.
‘I cannot believe, when there’s a derby on Sunday, why we’ve got to play on Thursday night. What’s the point in that? That doesn’t level the playing field.’
The boss was quick to point out that he believed the disadvantage would be overcome as it had been previously. ‘It was the same when we beat them last time to be fair, we played Wednesday and they played Tuesday. Those 24 hours are important so we’ve got to be good at recovering now.’
When asked whether United had lodged a formal complaint with the FA over the scheduling, the manager replied ‘There’s no point. I don’t think we can. It’s one of them, you get told when you’re going to play but we’ve not got any help before this one.’
Whilst the fixture scheduling may seem to put United at a disadvantage, the Norwegian is fortunate to have studied at the feet of the greatest player motivator in football history, Sir Alex Ferguson. Sir Alex was a master at using perceived bias against the Red Devils to inspire extra passion in his players, and Solskjaer will try to do the same as they line up against Pep Guardiola’s side at Old Trafford on Sunday.
United are through to the FA Cup quarter finals after their win at Derby. But how much do you know about the Red Devils’ history in the FA Cup? Take our quiz below to find out!