OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER
You’ve already been to two quarter-finals, but that’s not good enough for a club like Manchester United, is it? You would try to improve on that this season and in the coming seasons, I suppose?
“Of course. As you say, we’ve had some very, very good nights and unforgettable historic nights at the club and these are the biggest nights at the club. For me, if we go to this tournament now, of course, the goal is to go all the way.” But we know it will be difficult, it always is. We have brought some experience, some quality and some youth into the squad and hopefully this year we are better prepared for what is to come. “
How important is it to have the experience of the newcomers, especially Cristiano [Ronaldo] and Raphael [Varane]?
“I think sometimes you can go a long way with your youth, but in some games, of course, experience plays a role. In other games you need this youthfulness, this courage, this fearlessness. There we need players with this experience to calm the game down and manage the game properly.
Ole, we often talk about teams needing to gain experience and have disappointments in the Champions League before they finally take this step. Do you think the squad you have now has that in itself?
“We have already seen enough disappointments, that’s for sure. We had some great moments, of course. But this team has grown and matured over the past few seasons. I have to say that three years ago that was always the plan to go back” that day when I walked in we could have a squad with the experience and quality to challenge. With players like David next to me, Harry has now had a couple of years here. We get a backbone in the team with experience and quality. Of course they add with Raphael and Cristiano … not the last piece of course because you can never tell it is the last piece but it added something that you have to buy unless you win it four times yourself. We’re definitely learning. The group is special, I have to say. As a unit, they take care of each other, the atmosphere is really good and that definitely benefits us. “