Man Utd ready for ‘great’ festive period – Solskjaer

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said that his players are ready for the intense period around Christmas and New Year.

The Red Devils have pushed themselves up to eighth in the standings ahead of Sunday’s trip to Watford and are now just four points shy of Chelsea in fourth.

However, their squad is set to be tested over the coming fortnight due to the packed schedule, which will see them play three times over the coming week and on seven occasions in the next 20 days.

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It is a test the Solskjaer is looking forward to and one he believes his team will relish.

“It’s great and I feel the squad is ready for that,” he told the club’s official website. “I think physically we’re ready for it and mentally we’re in a good moment because we’re getting some decent results. And we’re getting players coming back so we’re getting more and more competition for places.

“Playing is the best thing in the world for the players and it’s what they like to do and enjoy to do. When you’re getting results and performances you just look forward to the next game. I think we’re all set for a good period.

“That’s what they’ve been dreaming of their whole lives, playing games. I remember myself when I was back home in Norway thinking I’d love to be in England over the Easter period or Christmas period, it’s a fantastic tradition. So even though players are tired they’re still good games to watch.”

With injuries clearing, the Norwegian has stressed the importance of having depth.

“That’s why we’ve been rotating early on and giving players minutes,” he said. “When you have two games on Boxing Day and two days later you can make changes. We have Watford before that so we’ve got three games in six days so that’s quite demanding but we’re in a good position.”

Solskjaer, meanwhile, clarified Paul Pogba’s fitness levels but does not know when the World Cup winner might be available.

“He’s training. He’s back in with the team so we’ll see how long it takes for him to feel ready to be part of a game,” he confirmed. “It’s a similar squad to what we’ve had the last few weeks.”

Man Utd’s festive period begins with Watford on Sunday and is followed by fixtures against Newcastle at home and Burnley away. They play Arsenal on New Year’s Day.

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