Solskjaer admits Man United have been “waiting for years” to renew their rivalry with Leeds ahead of the first League clash between the sides since 2004.
On Saturday, Solskjaer will reach his second year as United’s coach although this means less to him as he considered the Saturday to be another notable occasion at Old Trafford.
Moreover, the coach cannot wait to renew hostilities with Leeds United as the old rivals meet in the Premier League for the first time in nearly 17 years. The Norwegian was a player the last time United faced Leeds in February 2004 in the top-flight before relegation cast the Yorkshire side into the wilderness three years after reaching the Champions League semi-finals.
As he prepares to lock horns again with Leeds as a manager now, Solskjaer said, “I can’t wait. It’s been too long. I know how much it means for our supporters and club. There were some fiery games with tackles flying in and players from both teams who were winners”.
“We had a few fights, of course. Elland Road wasn’t the quietest place. When we came off the coach walking into the stadium, put it that way”.
“I enjoyed scoring two goals in a win at Elland Road. Sunday is a massive game. We have been waiting for years and we will be ready for it”.
On the subject of his anniversary and the progress made since he returned to United in December 2018, initially as caretaker boss, the 47-year-old was less enthusiastic.
He said, “I hate talking about what I’ve done and where we’re at. I always look forward and I know there’s a lot of work to be done still to get to the standard and level I want. I’ve really enjoyed these two years even though like the Sheffield United one make my hair turn ever greyer very quickly”.
Meanwhile, Manchester United vs Leeds United game will also stir memories for Marcelo Bielsa. In his case, it will be a 3-2 win against Sir Alex Ferguson’s United at Old Trafford with Athletic Bilbao in a Europa League last-16 tie in 2012.
“The image of the 8,000 Basque fans who attended the game, I have it installed in my memory”. Said Bielsa.
“Football is the identification and you can identify yourself when you face this kind of opponent. The bond of communication goes stronger in these games. This process is so rich in history especially in English football”.