Niall Quinn has questioned the confidence of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer going into the knockout rounds of the Europa League.
At the time of writing, Manchester United are betting favourites to go all the way in this season’s Europa League but Republic of Ireland legend Niall Quinn believes manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is already making excuses ahead of the Red Devils’ Round of 32 meeting with Real Sociedad.
Ahead of United’s first leg against Sociedad, which will be played in Turin due to Covid-19 restrictions in Spain, Solskjaer made it clear that the La Liga side were probably the toughest opponent United could have faced.
“As I said when the draw was made, it’s probably the hardest you could pick from our unseeded group,” Solskjaer said in his pre-match press conference.
The global kick-off times for our #UEL game in Turin 📍
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 18, 2021
“They were top of La Liga for a while and they are still in the hunt for a Champions League place next year. They have got some top players, some very experienced players, some quality players and some young very good ones.
“We have to play at a high level to get a result.”
Quinn, who made most of his career appearances for United’s local rivals Manchester City, is of the opinion that it’s not a positive sign that Solskjaer has already pointed out the quality of their opposition.
The former Ireland centre-forward has suggested that Solskjaer should have approached Thursday’s game with more confidence.
“I don’t think making excuses before you play in the second competition (Europa League) and not the first one (Champions League) is a good start,” Quinn said on Virgin Media Sport.
“He should be saying we are Man United, this is our competition for the taking. We are better than anybody here.”
"He should be saying 'we're Man United, this is our competition for the taking.'"
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) February 17, 2021
Quinn also expressed disbelief that United find themselves in the Europa League rather than the Champions League after early wins over Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig in the group stages.
“Is he complaining the way they ended up in that competition? I don’t think he should even be worrying about that,” Quinn said.
“It’s a real shame for Manchester United that they are not playing in the bigger one. They should have been. How they managed to know themselves out of that competition, I don’t know.
“It is a tough game. Real Sociedad are decent, there is no doubt about that.”