MANCHESTER, England — Manchester United caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer promised not to throw away the chance to win the FA Cup to focus on the fight for the top four or the Champions League.
United are battling Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea for a place in the Champions League spots and face a tough task in the quarterfinals of this season’s competition after being drawn against Barcelona.
Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville suggested Liverpool would be aided in their title fight with Manchester City if they went out of the Champions League early.
But ahead of the trip to Wolves in the FA Cup (live on Saturday at 3:55 p.m. ET on ESPN+), Solskjaer has sided with Jurgen Klopp and said he will not be prioritising one competition over another.
“The more games you win, the more confidence you breed, the more hunger there is in the players,” Solskjaer told a news conference on Friday.
“Every single game that you win puts another layer on that, on the way to becoming the team that we want to be. So I don’t agree with Gary Neville when he says that teams should go out of this and this to focus on that.”
Should United win at Molineux on Saturday night, it would take Solskjaer’s record as manager to 15 wins from 19 games.
Despite being heavy favourite to land the job full-time, the club are yet to make an official announcement although Solskjaer is now openly talking about planning for the summer transfer window — including links with Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale, whose future is uncertain following Zinedine Zidane’s return to the Bernabeu.
“I can’t really comment on Gareth Bale or specific players because they’re property of other clubs but we should look for quality players, definitely, and players who could improve us as a team,” said Solskjaer.
“There’s so many factors you need to think about when you sign players. It’s easy when you’re in the media or when you’re a supporter, you can think short term.
“We’ve got to think about the longevity as well, who’s going to fit in personality-wise. So there’s so many things that we need to think about.”
United and Solskjaer have a month to wait before restarting their Champions League campaign when Lionel Messi and Barcelona visit Old Trafford on April 10.
The Spanish giants are one of the favourites to lift the trophy in Madrid in May but Solskjaer, who will return to the scene of his most famous United goal in the second leg at the Nou Camp on April 16, says the 3-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes is proof they can beat anyone.
“I think we’ve shown against PSG that on any given day we can beat a top team,” said Solskjaer. “There’s so many variables and these games will be decided by margins. So yes, we can go all the way but you’ve got to be lucky and good along the way.
“The confidence in the players, it’s sky high. And the mood is good, the training attitude is good, so hopefully we can keep that run going.”