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tough talk 'Making excuses' - Niall Quinn hits out at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ahead of Europa League tie

Former Ireland striker suggests Solskjaer should be targeting Europa League success

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (UEFA Handout)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (UEFA Handout)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (UEFA Handout)

Former Ireland striker Niall Quinn has questioned Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solksjaer's pre-match comments ahead of their Europa League clash against Real Sociedad.

United are playing in UEFA's second tier competition after finishing third in their Champions League group in December and they have been handed a tricky draw as they take on their Spanish opponents in Italy.

United are heading to Turin rather than San Sebastian for the last-32 first leg due to the impact of Covid-19 restrictions in Spain, with Solskjaer suggesting his side were unlucky to get drawn against Sociedad.

"When the draw was made, probably the hardest you could pick from the unseeded group," said Solskjaer. "They were top of La Liga for a while and are still in the hunt for a Champions League place. We have to play at the highest level to get a result."

Those comments did not impress former Manchester City striker Quinn, who suggested Solskjaer needs to show more ambition in his comments.

"Is he complaining the way they ended up in that competition," Quinn told Virgin Media Sport.

"It's a real shame for Manchester United that they are not playing in the bigger one. 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, but I don't think making excuses before you play the competition is a good start. He should be saying we are Man United, this our competition for the taking. We are better than anyone here."

Meanwhile, Solskjaer has confirmed Paul Pogba will miss the rest of the month through injury, with Donny Van De Beek and Edinson Cavani also sidelined for Manchester United’s Europa League match against Real Sociedad.

"He's recovering well, he’s starting the treatment," United boss Solskjaer said of Pogba.

"It'll still be a good few weeks, so he won’t be playing in February, that’s for sure. Still a few weeks until we see Paul, definitely."

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