Manchester: Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says there is “no common sense” in his team being forced to play the earliest fixture of the weekend after being involved in Wednesday’s Champions League.
United face Everton at Old Trafford in the lunchtime kickoff slot tomorrow after hosting Villarreal on Wednesday in European competition.
Rivals Liverpool and Manchester City played on Tuesday but have the last fixture slot of the weekend, meeting late Sunday afternoon at Anfield.
The United manager said he has not received any reasoning for the fixture order, but blamed television companies.
“Absolutely no explanation. Well, it is TV,” he said in his news conference today.
Solskjaer noted a similar situation had occurred last season when United had a trip to Turkey in midweek to face Istanbul Basaksehir and then faced Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday lunchtime which he described as being “set up to fail”.
“Absolutely no common sense at all, we had the same scenario last year when we played in Turkey and came back and played Everton,” he said.
“The crowd are going to have to help, that is important and I know they will. Us and Chelsea played Wednesday night, we could have easily played Sunday and the Liverpool vs City game should have been the Saturday one. Common sense might not be so common unfortunately,” he said.
Solskjaer also addressed the frustration shown by Dutch midfielder Donny van de Beek, who was visibly upset not to be used as a substitute during Wednesday’s game, throwing down his training bib.
“I understand the frustration, of course, every player is keen to play, that’s got to be built into energy and some determination for when you get on and then show me,” said the United boss, who was a frequent sub as a player under Alex Ferguson.
“It’s not just Donny, it’s all of the players. I’ve got a squad of internationals and if we’re going to be successful together we know we need positive energy, we can’t have energy-sappers or sulkers. But Donny has never affected his team mates negatively, just so that’s said. As soon as I see players affecting the team negatively then that’s a different scenario and I’ll probably be firmer,” he said.