United fell short in the Europa League semi-final and the performance raised questions about the strength in depth of the squad
The Norwegian didn’t make a change until the 87th minute of United’s 2-1 defeat to Sevilla in the Europa League semi-final on Sunday night in Cologne, as a lack of squad depth meant the manager did not have suitable options to change the game off the bench.
“You know at times in games like this when you create so many chances and openings it’s difficult to take players with goals in them out of the pitch. Mason [Greenwood], Marcus [Rashford], Anthony [Martial], Bruno [Fernandes] — they’re all goalscorers and they’ve been fantastic for us,” Solskjaer said when explaining why he didn’t make an earlier change.
“They created enough today to score. Yeah, we looked a little tired towards the end but we’ve done excellent and I made the decisions I made.”
Pushed on how hard it will be for his side close the gap in the league, Solskjaer suggested they need more players to help them improve.
“We need to keep improving, keep doing what they’ve done every single day. They’ve worked so hard, [have the] right attitude and mentality. We need to strengthen the squad depth of course because it’s going to be a long season and only a couple weeks rest until we get going again,” Solskjaer explained.
“[We need to] keep on improving what we’re doing day in and day out and believe in what we’re doing. You can see at times today what we can be about and what we are about.”
A right-sided attacker, centre-back, midfielder and striker are amongst the positions United are looking to strengthen but with the coronavirus pandemic causing financial uncertainty, it is not known how many players they will be able to bring in before the window closes on October 5.
“It’s going to be a strange summer. We’ve only got a couple weeks away from each other until we get going again. That’s going to be a mental challenge,” Solskjaer said. “Of course we’ll keep pushing and keep demanding more of players we have but we’re looking to improve. It’s a strange one. The league starts very quickly but the market’s open for so long. We’ve got to be good, smart and clever.
“I cannot say when or if transfers will be done but we are looking at it and we’ll have to sit down because it’s a quick turnaround. We’ve got to be 100 per cent sure when we make those deals.”