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No excuses for United if they lose EFL Cup semi, Solskjaer

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RESENDING WITH COMPLETE SCRIPT

VIDEO SHOWS: COMMENTS FROM MANCHESTER UNITED MANAGER, OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER AND MANCHESTER CITY MANAGER, PEP GUARDIOLA, FILE FOOTAGE OF MANCHESTER UNITED TRAINING, FILE FOOTAGE OF MANCHESTER CITY TRAINING

SHOWS:

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (JANUARY 5, 2021) (MUTV - MUST COURTESY "MUTV". DO NOT OBSCURE LOGO. NO RESALE)

1. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MANCHESTER UNITED MANAGER, OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER, SAYING:

"Yes, it's always a good question, 'how important is it?' And then, then I can answer, 'very.' The next game is always important, but of course, a semi-final is a chance to get to the final, to get your hands on a trophy in the next round. And for this team, it would be a very, very big step getting to getting your hands on a trophy. We've developed a lot in the last six months, 12 months from the from last semi in the Carabao Cup, so of course it's not just learning to win semis; we've always also earned the right to feel that way we can go all the way with our performances. We are confident, we're going into the game in good form. So, there's no excuses."

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (FILE - DECEMBER 7, 2020) (UEFA - NO RESALES. NO COMMERCIAL USE. MUST ON-SCREEN COURTESY "©UEFA 2021")

2. MANCHESTER UNITED SQUAD JOGGING ACROSS PITCH AT START OF TEAM TRAINING SESSION

3. MANCHESTER UNITED MANAGER, OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER, WATCHING SQUAD TRAIN

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (JANUARY 5, 2021) (MUTV - MUST COURTESY "MUTV". DO NOT OBSCURE LOGO. NO RESALE)

4. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MANCHESTER UNITED MANAGER, OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER, SAYING:

"Yeah of course, you do you play football to win. You play football to win trophies, to get your hands on a trophy even though when you win that trophy you just move on to the next one. So, and sometimes that's -- but it gives you the hunger to get more. So, of course, the squad is focused. We're ready to give it a go. I think we've prepared well for this game."

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (FILE - DECEMBER 1, 2020) (UEFA - NO RESALES. NO COMMERCIAL USE. MUST ON-SCREEN COURTESY "©UEFA 2021")

5. MANCHESTER UNITED STRIKER, EDINSON CAVANI, DURING RONDO DRILL

6. MANCHESTER UNITED MANAGER, OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER, WATCHING TRAINING

7. CAVANI AMONG TEAM MATES DURING TRAINING

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (JANUARY 5, 2021) (MUTV - MUST COURTESY "MUTV". DO NOT OBSCURE LOGO. NO RESALE)

8. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MANCHESTER UNITED MANAGER, OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER, SAYING:

"Yeah, of course, we're disappointed not having Edinson (Cavani) involved. He's probably the only one that's not and of course Phil Jones who's been very out for a long time, They're the only two that's not available for selection, which is a good position to be in."

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (FILE - DECEMBER 7, 2020) (UEFA - NO RESALES. NO COMMERCIAL USE. MUST ON-SCREEN COURTESY "©UEFA 2021")

9. MANCHESTER UNITED MIDFIELDER, PAUL POGBA (NUMBER 6), IN THE MIDDLE OF A RING OF PLAYERS DOING A TRAINING DRILL KNOWN AS A RONDO

10. MANCHESTER UNITED DEFENDER AND CAPTAIN, HARRY MAGUIRE (NUMBER 5 - ORANGE JACKET) TRAINING WITH TEAM MATES INCLUDING FORWARD, MARCUS RASHFORD (NUMBER 10 - STOCKING HAT AND SCARF)

11. POGBA TRAINING ALONGSIDE MIDFIELDER, JUAN MATA (NUMBER 8)

LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (JANUARY 3, 2021) (CITY TV - ACCESS ALL)

12. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MANCHESTER CITY MANAGER, PEP GUARDIOLA, TALKING ABOUT IMPACT COVID-19 HAS HAD ON THE SQUAD FOLLOWING POSITIVE CASES, SAYING:

"(It) affects (us) because if they were contaminated we can be contaminated. So, we are all together all the time with not just players, the backroom staff; there are three people from the backroom staff who are also with COVID. So, that's why everyone is a little bit concerned, but with this what we spoke so try to relax between the games with the family, stay safe, stay well and the energy, the incredible commitment at that moment of the game. And we had three or four days to prepare the game and it works so because the players have been and always been, are fantastic."

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (FILE - DECEMBER 8, 2020) (UEFA - NO RESALES. NO COMMERCIAL USE. MUST ON-SCREEN COURTESY "©UEFA 2021")

13. MANCHESTER CITY DEFENDER, KYLE WALKER PASSING BALL WITH TEAM MATE, KEVIN DE BRUYNE

14. MANCHESTER CITY STRIKER, GABRIEL JESUS (YELLOW BIB) STRETCHING BEFORE DOING RUNNING DRILL

15. WALKER TRAINING

16. MANCHESTER CITY MANAGER, PEP GUARDIOLA (WOOLLY HAT) SPEAKING WITH ASSISTANT COACH

LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (JANUARY 3, 2021) (CITY TV - ACCESS ALL)

17. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MANCHESTER CITY MANAGER, PEP GUARDIOLA, TALKING ABOUT NEED TO ROTATE THE SQUAD IN UPCOMING MATCHES DUE TO SCHEDULE AND COVID-19, SAYING:

"Yes, of course it is. If you want to compete in all competitions, you need a full squad, but we have the second team that we train with us in the long time ago, a month. We know them quite well and I'm pretty sure they can help us. They can help us to solve, to solve the situation, to solve the problems but of course, with this amount of games with just 15-16 players it will not be possible. Sorry, not not possible, it will be more difficult."

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (FILE - OCTOBER 20, 2020) (UEFA - NO RESALES. NO COMMERCIAL USE. MUST ON-SCREEN COURTESY "©UEFA 2021") (MUTE)

18. MAN CITY MANAGER, PEP GUARDIOLA, ON TRAINING PITCH

19. VARIOUS OF PLAYERS STRETCHING

20. SERGIO AGUERO / RAHEEM STERLING, PLAYERS START HUGGING EACH OTHER AND THEN GATHER ROUND RUBEN DIAS

LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (JANUARY 3, 2021) (CITY TV - ACCESS ALL)

21. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MANCHESTER CITY MANAGER, PEP GUARDIOLA, SAYING:

"I think our momentum start from Newcastle. I remember after at the press conference, I had that feeling that we play in the way you had to play. It's not about winning or losing (INAUDIBLE). So, I had that feeling. Unfortunately, it was disrupted (as) we could not go to Goodison Park and I didn't know how would be, you know, the tempo but today here we did really, really well. It's the way we have to play. So, it's no -- I don't talk about players being slow and lazy; no, no, no. I'm not talking about this but we need the ball. To be to be good we need the ball, the ball. Without it we are not good enough."

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (FILE - OCTOBER 20, 2020) (UEFA - NO RESALES. NO COMMERCIAL USE. MUST ON-SCREEN COURTESY "©UEFA 2021") (MUTE)

22. MANCHESTER CITY MIDFIELDER, PHIL FODEN / RUBEN DIAS AND NATHAN AKE AT TRAINING

STORY: Manchester United are playing confidently and should be able to win the League Cup, and there will be no excuses if they fail to beat Manchester City in Wednesday's (January 6) semi-final, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said on Tuesday (January 5).

United crashed out at the semi-final stage of the League Cup, FA Cup and Europa League last season, but Solskjaer believes that they have made big improvements in the current campaign.

The Norwegian added that there would be no excuses if United lost a semi-final for the fourth time in a row.

The club are second in the Premier League after a 10-match unbeaten run and level on 33 points with leaders Liverpool with a game in hand.

When the two sides met last month in the league last month it finished in a goalless draw.

Solskjaer said it was disappointing not to have Edinson Cavani for the match. The Uruguayan was suspended for three games and fined 100,000 pounds ($136,590 dollars) after he admitted a Football Association (FA) charge for using a racial term.

The 33-year-old Uruguayan used the word "negrito" in an Instagram post after beating Southampton on November 29, before taking it down and apologising.

Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola said Manchester City will need to rotate his squad as they cope with injuries and a COVID-19 outbreak within the club.

Guardiola has been without six players who were isolating because of a COVID-19 outbreak at the club, including keeper Ederson, Ferran Torres, Kyle Walker and Gabriel Jesus while Riyad Mahrez and Sergio Aguero were only on the bench after injuries.

Despite those problems, the Spaniard believes his side are gaining momentum after they outclassed Chelsea 3-1 at Stamford Bridgeon Sunday (January 3) to move into the top five of the Premier League

City are now unbeaten in seven games and are only four points behind leaders Liverpool and Manchester United having played a game less.

Guardiola was without six players who were isolating because of a COVID-19 outbreak at the club, including keeper Ederson, Ferran Torres, Kyle Walker and Gabriel Jesus while Riyad Mahrez and Sergio Aguero were only on the bench after injuries.

(Production: Tim Hart)

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