Sports

Utd change OT banners to help players’ eyesight

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said Manchester United‘s poor home form has forced the club to change the banners at Old Trafford so the players can see each other more clearly.

United are unbeaten away from Old Trafford in the league this season but have only won eight of their 15 home games.

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Solskjaer’s side are yet to register a home win in the Europa League but have won at Real Sociedad, Milan and Granada and ahead of the quarterfinal second leg with Granada at Old Trafford, Solskjaer has revealed he hopes the change from red seat coverings to black will aid a change in fortunes.

His comments come a day after the 25th anniversary of United’s 3-1 defeat at Southampton in April 1996 when Sir Alex Ferguson made his players change out of their grey kit at half-time because he believed it was clashing with the backdrop at The Dell.

“You’ll see a change now, if you see the banners around the club it’s not red anymore,” Solskjaer told a news conference on Wednesday.

“We’ve looked into this, there shouldn’t be a reason, really. But some of the players have mentioned that split second decision you have to make where you look over your shoulder to see if your teammate is there or not and the red shirt is on a red background with red seats.

“So we’ve tried to change that along with the anti-racism campaign, that was important that it wasn’t red anymore.

“I still think we’ve played some good football at home; we started off badly with three defeats with Palace, Tottenham and Arsenal very early on, but we’ve improved.”

United lead 2-0 from the first leg in Spain and are playing for a place in the semifinals against either Roma or Ajax.

Harry Maguire, Scott McTominay and Luke Shaw are all suspended while Marcus Rashford is a doubt after missing training on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“It’s never a positive thing to not have every player available but we’ve got players who are ready to come into the team of course,” said Solskjaer.

“We have to make sure we go through. I always pick a team that I think will win a game and we will go into it wanting to win.

“I know Granada will want to come and give it their all but we want to build on our momentum and have a good performance. There will be a few changes; some are forced and some are maybe rotation.”

With Maguire missing and Eric Bailly still unavailable after testing positive for coronavirus, Axel Tuanzebe could get a chance to impress alongside Victor Lindelof.

The 23-year-old had a fine game in the victory at Paris Saint-Germain but has found opportunities hard to come by since and hasn’t started a game since the 2-1 defeat to Sheffield United in January.

“Axel has always been a very positive boy and hard working,” Solskjaer said.

“Victor and Harry have played and have a very, very good partnership. Eric has played really well when he’s played and his chances have been limited. He’s been training well and he’s ready for this opportunity.”

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