Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted his Manchester United players were affected by a change in pre-match plans due to fans protesting outside Old Trafford but insisted they cannot use that as an excuse for their loss to Liverpool.
Fans gathered outside the stadium to protest against the Glazers and players had to use executive boxes in the stadium as makeshift rooms to prepare for the game. And Solskjaer admitted the changes had an impact on his side's 4-2 defeat to the Reds.
“I think the players handled it well, none of them have complained, just got on with it," the United boss said. "We knew it was going to happen so there was no point losing energy on what can’t control.
“Preparation has been different but we’re not going to make an excuse. Everyone who has played at this level knows attention to detail is important and we couldn’t do the usual but, the players handled it well. Haven’t got result and performance, it’s probably affected them a little bit but not making an excuse of it.”
Solskjaer added that his side missed captain Harry Maguire, who missed the game as he continues to recover from ankle ligament damage. “Harry has been amazing since he came in, more or less ever-present,” Solskjaer said. “When a player who is leader and captain, his presence is missed.
“Two players came in and it’s a chance to take on some leadership. You can hear him in the stands when he’s not playing he’s important for us, someone else has to take the responsibility. Hopefully we can get him for the final but who knows – I don’t know yet.”