Ole Gunnar Solksjaer has reacted to the Europa League draw which will see Manchester United face FC Copenhagen in the quarterfinal if they go past LASK, by challenging his players to maintain their formidable form all the way to Europa League glory.
United’s place in the last eight of the Europa League is a formality, with the Reds holding a 5-0 lead ahead of the return leg of their last 16 tie against LASK Linz at Old Trafford.
In the last eight, United will face Copenhagen or Istanbul Basaksehir, with a potential semi-final showdown against Premier League rivals Wolves if they make it that far.
Reacting to the draw, Solskjaer said: “Well, I don’t want to look too far because I just think we should focus on the next game.
“We’re in a position now where we’re just focusing on the league but, of course, when you look at the ties that can come – we could play Wolves, we could meet Ashley [Young] and Romelu [Lukaku, both of Inter Milan] so there’s definitely games to be looking forward to and we just have to keep on our run.
“Hopefully we can go through to the quarter-finals but again, as we said, it’s about finishing off the LASK tie first.”
With United all but through to the last eight, Solskjaer said he is relishing the single-game knockout format of the Europa League once the tournament concludes in Lisbon.
“I’m looking forward to it,” said Solskjaer, speaking to United’s official website. “It’s like a mini-tournament.
“I’ve been involved in a European Championship and a World Cup, so we’ll be living tight together abroad.
“We’ve got some staff here that have been involved in those kinds of tournaments, so we’ll prepare really well and hopefully we can last more than just the one game.
“I look on it the opposite way in that I think we’re playing well and getting to a high level and standard of football, and hopefully we can just carry that on into Europe and into next season.”
United playmaker Bruno Fernandes, voted Premier League Player of the Month for the second time in a row, said: “When you play for Manchester United, you know you need to win every game.
“It doesn’t matter who you play against when you play for one of the biggest teams in the world and you can beat everyone.
“We need to focus on beating everyone so, of course for me, the first point is winning against LASK.
“It doesn’t matter if you have five goals away, we need to win again and need to score five goals. It doesn’t matter – football is about winning.
“Winning gives you confidence, so we can’t stop in this moment in thinking about just playing against LASK.
“We’ll see when we’re playing against them, winning the game, and, after, think about Copenhagen or Istanbul. It doesn’t matter who comes.”