Solskjaer will be looking to win his first trophy as Manchester United head coach when they take on Villarreal in the Europa League final on May 26.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be looking to win his first title with Manchester United when they face Villarreal in the Europa League final on May 26. The Red Devils beat AS Roma 8-5(aggregate) to reach their second final since winning the trophy in 2017. Solskjaer who took charge of the team in 2018 has done a decent job so far, guiding the team to consecutive top-four finishes in the Premier League for the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson left in 2013. The management’s faith and patience shown in him has been fruitful.
Now its time to win trophies! “You always feel pressure to win things at Manchester United. Progress in the league shows progress. The next step is to win trophies and challenge in the Premier League as well,” he said. “Winning a trophy can give you belief but it can make you hungry for more. When you win things you just want to win more, you want to feel the sensation again of lifting trophies.
“I know my players will believe they can win it and that we can move on to better things, but when you get the taste of the first one, that’s a big step in the right direction.”
Since the 48-year-old Norwegian took charge from Jose Mourinho in 2018 , the progress has been gradual. They finished sixth, third, and this season second in the Premier League. Solskjaer’s side lost in four previous semi-finals including in the last season Europa League against Sevilla.
“We’ve worked together two and a half years now and taken a step into the final after the near-misses we’ve had. To get to the final is one thing, but when you get to the final you need to win it,” said Solskjaer. “Those nights when you win the trophy it brings everyone together, it’s a celebration.”
Solskjaer scored the last gasp winning goal for Manchester United in the famous 1999 Champions League final when Sir Alex Ferguson’s side came from behind to beat Bayern Munich 2-1 at Camp Nou.
“When we won in ’99 it didn’t make me a better player. It didn’t make us individually better players, but as a group we believed that we could go on to win more stuff and we comfortably won the league the next couple of seasons.”
Manchester United, who are a much bigger team in terms of wealth and legacy, will go into Wednesday’s final as favourites against a Villarreal team playing in their first-ever major final. As for United, only three starters from the 2017 title winning team remain at the club – Paul Pogba, Juan Mata and Marcus Rashford.
The 23-year-old striker Marcus Rashford is having a very good season for Manchester United as he has scored 21 goals and registered 9 assists in all competitions for the club.
“This game’s important for us. We’re so close to being a team that can compete and win trophies every single season. Maybe winning this title, this Europa League, can give us that little push that we need,” said Rashford.
“It’s going to be special. You’ve got to be proud to be able to lead a Manchester United team out to a final,” said Solskjaer.
“It’s been a fantastic journey and, as we say in Norwegian. Veien er mallet (the goal is the journey). This is just the step on the road to bringing our Man United back”