United players will have no hiding place - Solskjaer
Manchester United's players will have no hiding place when they take on Manchester City, according to boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who believes the derby provides the perfect opportunity for the Red Devils to recapture top form. United host their near neighbours at Old Trafford on Wednesday, as they aim to bounce back from their 4-0 drubbing at Everton on Sunday. The derby result could be pivotal in the Premier League title race, with Liverpool hoping for a United win to boost their chances of claiming City's crown.
And Solskjaer, who has promised a reaction from his side, is adamant that United could not wish for a better opportunity to restore their pride.
"For me it's the best game we could have. There's no hiding place," Solskjaer told Sky Sports. "The world's watching. The whole of Manchester is watching. Liverpool is watching!
"Our players' pride has been hurt badly - my pride, the club's pride. The game is a great chance to put things right. We know we have a way to go to get where we want to be but it's a step; we can show the standards we want to have. It's about a reaction, a response. We can't work on fitness, it's mindsets. I know the players; they're very good, talented players. Everton outran us, outworked us. We have to bring something different [against City].
"We know the quality of their team but our fans need to know we've given absolutely everything - tactically, mentally, physically, as well as handling the ball. We spoke honestly at half-time and after the game [on Sunday]. We know that performance is not acceptable if you want to get to the top where we think we belong. I can say only twice we've really let ourselves down this year in terms of performance - that game [against Everton] and the game against Wolves in the FA Cup."
Despite a poor run of form which has seen United lose four of their six fixtures in all competitions since Solskjaer was given the job on a permanent basis, the former Molde coach insisted in Tuesday's pre-match news conference that he still had full belief in his players. However, he says there will be ramifications for certain players following United's capitulation at Goodison Park.
"Of course there'll be consequences," Solskjaer said. "We're not going to see exactly the same team [against Manchester City]."