Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says his players were bitterly disappointed after their thrashing at the hands Everton at the weekend and will respond in their midweek clash with City.
The derby has great significance for Manchester City who need to win to move back ahead of Liverpool in the title race but United also desperately need three points in their bid to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Solskjaer told a pre-match press conference on Tuesday that he wanted to see a response from his side. The manager has made it very clear that players who want to be at United next season need to shape up or prepare to ship out.
“That’s the best game we could ask for now,” Solskjaer said. “We had a meeting after the game and you can see that all the players are definitely, definitely disappointed and really hurt by that performance.
”The City game is the perfect one to respond [in].
“There’s no hiding place on the pitch. I’ve said it so many times – our fans will back you whatever the result is, as long as you give that effort.”
United kept Liverpool from scoring at Old Trafford last month and Solskjaer knows that his side need to produce a massive performance on defence against a rampant City attack.
“Against a City side that’s been very, very good we’ve got to turn up,” said the United manager.
“We’ve got to be ready for their pressing, because they’ve got quality on the ball, so we’ve got to defend well. When we win the ball we’ve got to be ready for their aggression, because they will snap at your heels and ankles.
“They are not going to allow us easy counter attacking because there will be fouls, absolutely no doubt about it, because when you watch their games they commit so many players forward and they’ll be stopping us as high as they can I think.”
United have another big game in their top four quest this weekend, when Chelsea visit Old Trafford but the manager says his team are 100 percent focused on Pep Guardiola’s imposing City team.
“We’ll focus on Wednesday now and I’m sure we’ll get a good response,” added Solskjaer.
“We believe in them. Of course these players know they let themselves down as individuals, as a team. Me as well. I’m in charge and I’m the one that’s giving them instructions on how we’re going to play and it’s my duty to get them performing better than that, but I’m sure we’ll get a response.”
Manchester United vs Manchester City at Old Trafford kicks off at 21:00 SAST on Wednesday 24 April.
Watch Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester derby pre-match press conference