Manch­ester United stars warned by Ole Gun­nar Sol­sk­jaer

Observer on Saturday - - Sport - Daily Mail

Ole Gun­nar Sol­sk­jaer has warned that his play­ers are in for a rude awak­en­ing if they think Manch­ester United’s warm-weather break in Dubai will be a hol­i­day.

United will fly out af­ter Satur­day’s FA Cup third-round tie against Read­ing at Old Traf­ford for a four-day stay at the £400-a-night One&Only Royal Mi­rage Ara­bian Court.

But Sol­sk­jaer in­sists it will be an op­por­tu­nity to put his play­ers through a tough fit­ness workout rather than a sun­shine break.

“I’ve got to know ev­ery­one and had plenty of time to speak with them but not much time to train, so if any of the play­ers think it’s a hol­i­day they're wrong,” said Sol­sk­jaer.

“We’re there to stick to­gether, to work hard on the phys­i­cal part of it ahead of the Tot­ten­ham game.” United face Tot­ten­ham on Jan­uary 13 as they push for a place in the top four.

Sol­sk­jaer re­vealed that Paul Pogba is likely to miss the Read­ing clash through in­jury. United’s record sign­ing, who has four goals and three as­sists in four games un­der United’s new care­taker boss, was hurt by a chal­lenge from Jonjo Shelvey that went


Mun­pun­ished in United’s win over New­cas­tle in mid­week.

How­ever, Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez – who both made an im­pact off the bench at St James’s Park on their re­turn to the squad – will start against the Cham­pi­onship strug­glers.

“(Mar­cos) Rojo and (Chris) Smalling out,’ said Sol­sk­jaer. “I'm not sure if Paul's go­ing to be ready – he got a knock against New­cas­tle – and if (Marouane) Fel­laini gets through the ses­sion to­day, it's more or less a full squad.

“There will be a few changes and they’ll get a chance. Some of them are itch­ing now to play, of course.

We’ll get Lukaku and Sanchez a start. That's im­por­tant for them be­cause they need more game time.”

“We're about win­ing tro­phies and the FA Cup fi­nal is such a fan­tas­tic one to play in. I played in the 1999 fi­nal at Wem­b­ley and af­ter hav­ing watched so many FA Cup fi­nals as a kid, to walk from the dress­ing-room to the pitch was fan­tas­tic. I'd seen it so many times in Nor­way.

“That's what we hope for. What­ever com­pe­ti­tion you're in, you want to win. That's more or less what you ex­pect from a club like this and play­ers we've got.”

Sol­sk­jaer is look­ing to em­u­late Sir Matt Busby’s record of win­ning his first five games in charge. But he is re­fus­ing to get car­ried away by talk of land­ing the job per­ma­nently when his five-month loan from Molde.

“No, it's early doors,” he said.

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