OIe Gunnar Solskjaer 'surprised' Manchester United will play on astroturf against AZ Alkmaar

02/10/19 5:25pm

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is `surprised` Manchester United are having to play on an artificial pitch in the Netherlands
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is `surprised` Manchester United are having to play on an artificial pitch in the Netherlands

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Manchester United will play on one of the worst artificial pitches he has seen when they face AZ Alkmaar in the Europa League on Thursday.

The match will be played on a soon-to-be-replaced astroturf pitch at the Cars Jeans Stadium, built for the 2013 Hockey World Cup, after part of the roof at AZ Alkmaar`s own stadium - 40 miles away - collapsed in August.

Norwegian-born Solskjaer voiced his surprise that an artificial pitch was needed in the Netherlands` climate.

It`s OK when you live in the North Pole like we do in Norway. Here I`m surprised.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on playing on an artificial pitch

It`s OK when you live in the North Pole, like we do in Norway, Solskjaer said. Here I`m surprised.

It`s one of the worst I`ve seen for a long while. In Norway, they`re all more modern and new.

It`s safe, it`s just not the newest.

United`s travelling squad contains 10 academy graduates, with Anthony Martial, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw all absent.

Paul Pogba has not travelled due to an ankle injury

Paul Pogba has not been included as he needs further treatment and rest on an ankle injury, Solskjaer said.

I wouldn`t risk him on astroturf even if he was available for this game, the United manager added.

With my knees, I`ve not really enjoyed astroturf. These young boys are OK.

Solskjaer, sat alongside Juan Mata in his press conference, urged United`s young players to grasp the moments created by their more experienced team-mates.

I just hope they`re ready to run, run in behind and finish the chances, he said.

Mata: Winning a trophy my biggest objective

Mata, 31, said winning a trophy with United is his biggest objective in what he called the last part of his career after signing a new contract this summer to keep him at the club until 2021.

When the club says we`re going to take time, inside we believe it`s not going to be too long, he said.

Since I was born this club was always winning. In my mind, my only aim is to win something important with United.

I believe during my time here as a player we can do it.

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source : skysports.com

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