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Solskjaer says perfect time for confident Man Utd to play PSG

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 7,818

Solskjaer says perfect time for confident Man Utd to play PSG

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 7,818

Manchester United's return to Champions League action against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday has come at the perfect time for the in-form team, according to caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

When the two sides were paired together in December's draw, PSG were strong favourites to make the last eight, with United mired in the final days of Jose Mourinho's troublesome tenure.

However, the mood around Old Trafford is transformed two months on, with Solskjaer overturning an 11-point deficit to break into the top four of the Premier League and beating Arsenal away to reach the fifth round of the FA Cup.

"We've given ourselves the best possible opportunity with the way we've gone into this game because we are confident," said the Norwegian on Monday, buoyed by 10 wins and one draw since he took charge.

"I've found out what kind of team we have. We are playing like a team, we are agreeing on how we should approach games. If there was ever a time to go into big games like this it is now."

It may also be the perfect time to run into an injury-ravaged PSG, with the world's most expensive player Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Thomas Meunier all sidelined by injury.

"Of course any team that are missing players like Neymar, Cavani and Meunier will feel the effect," added Solskjaer, who is still wary of the pace of Kylian Mbappe.

"It makes them maybe more unpredictable for us who they are going to play.

"When you see that front three over the whole season you know what to expect. We are guessing a little bit how they will approach this game."

Should United emerge victorious over the two legs it will be the first time in five years the three-time European champions have reached the quarter-finals.

And Solskjaer admitted it has been too long since a memorable Champions League night at Old Trafford.

"Yes, it has been (too long)," said Solskjaer. "It's both the players and supporters who have been looking forward to some of these nights because they are special."

- Martial thriving under Solskjaer - 

Anthony Martial is just one of a number of United players transformed since the change in management.

The Frenchman scored a brilliant solo goal in Saturday's 3-0 win at Fulham and believes the attacking freedom given to the players under Solskjaer is more conducive to getting the best from them than Mourinho's more conservative approach.

"We've got a coach with a different approach and we are trying to do what he's asking us," said Martial. "Perhaps it is easier for us to play this style of football compared to the previous style of football we were asked to play."

PSG's visit is the first of three huge games across three different competitions in 13 days for United.

Solskjaer's men visit Chelsea in the FA Cup next Monday before Liverpool visit Old Trafford in a huge match for their Premier League title ambitions on February 24.

However, Solskjaer insisted even winning all three matches would not guarantee him the job as United boss on a permanent basis.

"That's too simple," he said. "There is still a few more months left of this season for me to do whatever I can for this club."

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