Football

Manchester United manager Solskjaer: We need big win against Istanbul

Solskjaer says convincing victory will be huge boost as games come 'thick & fast'

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said their Champions League clash with Istanbul Basaksehir at Old Trafford tomorrow morning (Singapore time) will give them the chance to consolidate their position in their group.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE, GROUP H
MAN UNITED BASAKSEHIR

He said yesterday that United may need six points from their three remaining Champions League group-stage games to qualify for the knockout phase after a shock defeat by Basaksehir this month.

United won their opening two games against Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig before losing 2-1 to the Turkish champions, and lead Group H with six points, but could potentially drop out of the top two if they lose again.

"We started well with two wins, but we were disappointed with the last game against Istanbul. We need 10 points to go through, but we may need 12 points," Solskjaer said.

"We're going to go into this game to try and win it, and to win it well with a good performance because we have games coming thick and fast. That defeat last time was a big blow.

"The Turkish champions, it'll be difficult. Nothing unexpected, but our level of concentration needs to be better. The goals we conceded, we caused our problems with organisation. We need to be more patient, disciplined in our positioning."

Solskjaer defended his side when he was quizzed on why the English Premier League giants have struggled against smaller sides this season, after they suffered loses against Basaksehir and Crystal Palace, and looked unconvincing in Sunday's 1-0 home win over 18th-placed West Bromwich Albion.

"We are trying to develop the squad and the team to become good at all different phases of the game," the Norwegian said.

"The Everton game was a perfect example. The game decides what type of game it becomes, always decided on moments (like Everton scoring the first goal)... and we are moving in the right direction."

He was also hopeful that France midfielder Paul Pogba will feature after missing the WBA game, following a busy period with the national team.

"Paul trained this morning, so we'll see if there's any reaction when we report tomorrow," he said.

"Luke Shaw and Phil Jones are out, Jesse Lingard is still self-isolating after being in contact with a positive case."

Solskjaer remained tight-lipped on whether goalkeeper Dean Henderson would reconsider his future if he doesn't start against Basaksehir.

"Dean wants to stay and play for Man United. I can't see the logic in only one more appearance before Christmas. Do you know how many games we have? He is training well, he has potential to be one of the best.

"I don't buy the argument it is make or break from him (tomorrow)." - REUTERS

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