Every word from Ole’s Europa League final press conference

Villarreal are the underdogs. How do you ease the weight of expectation and pressure that’s hanging over your players?
“Every player who goes into a final has the expectation and pressure to win. You have to prepare to win, we plan to win, we expect to win but I’m sure Unai [Emery] feels the same with his team and his players. So that’s no different. It’s been a long qualification to get there and it’s 50-50 when you get to a final. I feel, as I’ve said so many times now, confident that we are ready for this. In a final, anything can happen, you can concede a goal in the first minute, you can get an injury, get sent off, anything can happen, so we just have to be ready for anything. That’s the thing with a final, it’s decided there and then.”

Hi Ole, you’ve made great strides this season but for the season to be termed a success, do you have to win tomorrow?
“Yeah, of course, you go into every game with the next one as the most important one. This now is a final which happens to be the end of a season and you can define the season after tomorrow. So far we’ve improved but, as you say, we’ll all go home happy only if we win tomorrow.”

Obviously your manager has quite a big history in European finals, what does he to do to prepare you for this big night?
“We prepare as we normally do for a game. Of course it’s a final and everyone knows the importance of a final, but we prepare as we have done normally. It’s not going to put any different pressure on the players because every game at Man United is important. If we suddenly change the way we prepare for a game – we have had to do that recently anyway because of all the games we’ve had – but we prepare as normally as we can and Bruno, yep, we can do some more videos tomorrow!”

You scored the winner on May 26th, 1999, it’s your birthday on the 26th, your wife’s birthday too, I think. Are you superstitious, do you see the omens aligning for you?
“To be superstitious is when it’s something negative but when it’s something positive, you think that it’s going to work in your favour. So, I think it’s gonna be a good omen for us but the players need to do their job and then maybe we can honour Sir Matt’s birthday with another win.”


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