Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said that his team is bigger than rivals Manchester City despite City's recent resurgence under Pep Guardiola. This statement comes just before City host United at Etihad Stadium in the 179th Manchester derby to be played on November 7. Solskjaer said that the Red Devils are still bigger than their rivals despite City finishing above United every season since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013 and winning three Premier League titles during that time.
Solskjaer joined Manchester United after City was relegated in the year 1996. Manchester City returned to the Premier League in 2000 after having faced relegation to the third tier during their five-year absence in the league because of which Solskjaer had to wait for 5 years before playing his first Manchester Derby in 2001.
The Norwegian said that the way City plays now is very different from what they used to play during his time and added that they are a much better team in today's time. He also said that football has considerably changed as it is more of a technical game as compared to a physical and mental version during his time as a player.
Solskjaer went on to say that his team would be ready for whatever comes their way in a match with Manchester City. He believes that United needs to continue on the same path they are now on in order to return to winning ways.
However, all of his predecessors, Louis Van Gaal, David Moyes and Jose Mourinho were of the opinion that City was always ahead due to its ability to spend big on players. In response to this, Solskjaer said that he did not agree with such a thought process and added that the Red Devils will continue to challenge Guardiola's team in order to win.
Solskjaer knows that United is in the process of a complete overhaul and he feels that the team to change the culture to the one that was present during Ferguson's time and i.e. hunger and selflessness that most of the current players are already showing on the field.
One of the main concerns nagging Solskjaer is that of Paul Pogba who has been sidelined for a long time due to an ankle injury he suffered while on international duty. The manager said that Pogba needs time to be 100 per cent fit to play 90 minutes.
Solskjaer said that he hoped to get Pogba back in action as soon as possible and added that the world cup winning midfielder will not be available for the Manchester derby on November 7. The Red Devils will play the Derby at the Etihad Stadium on November 7 with an aim to bag three points and jump to the 5th position from a lowly 9th position.
(With inputs from agencies)