Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says players have 'got their act together' ahead of Everton test
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By Ben Grounds
Last Updated: 21/04/19 9:35am
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says his players have already erased the Champions League quarter-final exit to Barcelona from their memories.
United travel to face Everton at Goodison Park on Renault Super Sunday looking to move back into the Premier League's top four places, with Arsenal facing Crystal Palace later in the day.
Only three points separate third-placed Tottenham and United in sixth, and Solskjaer has been encouraged by the reaction of his squad following their 4-0 aggregate defeat to the Spanish giants - United's heaviest ever aggregate defeat in a two-legged European tie.
Solskjaer faces his first period of pressure as United manager following a run of five defeats in their last seven games, and he can ill afford another setback on Merseyside, with Manchester City and Chelsea fixtures still to come.
Solskjaer told Sky Sports: "Of course when you lose games, you're not happy, you don't like it, but I don't think the confidence should be knocked by going out to Barcelona.
"But it was just a reality check of where we're at. We played our part in those two games, especially in the first leg and at the start in Barcelona, and we know we're not that far away, but there's still a little way to go because they won it thoroughly in the end.
"Everton will be a tough game, but if we get concentrated and we get the team to defend together, attack well, find our flow, I'm sure we can get a good result.
"Everyone has already got their minds on this. We've got our act together and we've got everyone focusing. We enjoyed the weather on Thursday out on the pitch, and there was a recovery for those who played.
"You could see in the session, the determination and hunger was there and all of them want to play on Sunday, and it'll be down to me to leave some out."
Everton have won their last two home Premier League games against 'big six' sides, as many as they had in their previous 19 in the competition, and March 2012 was the last time they won three home league games in a row against the English elite.
Premier League top six
United, meanwhile, have lost their last two Premier League away games, and Solskjaer will be looking to prevent a third straight league away loss for the first time since January 1996.
The Norwegian admits there were elements of his side's performance in Barcelona that pleased him, and he remains confident that if his side replicates the intensity of the opening 15 minutes at the Nou Camp during The Run In, United will achieve Champions League football next season.
"It's my job to mentally get the players back on track and ready for the game on Sunday.
"We've got a week leading up to Huddersfield, and we need to get the level back to where we started against Barcelona - it was a great 15 minutes. If we do that consistently, I'm sure we can get a good performance.
Coleman seeking Everton reaction
Everton defender Seamus Coleman is looking for a positive reaction when they face Manchester United on Sunday following their loss to Fulham last weekend.
"We've got Everton, City, Chelsea, and I've got to decide if we've got enough energy to play the same team over those three games. I've got to decide if we mix or rest players, freshen it up, so you're head never stops working."
Solskjaer scored at Goodison Park during his playing career and once scored four in a single game at Old Trafford against the Toffees in a 5-1 win for Sir Alex Ferguson's side in December 1999.
"I've got some great memories from playing at Goodison," he added. "It's a great football stadium, and the atmosphere will be fantastic of course because it always is when Man United go somewhere.
"I remember we became champions there once [in 2003/04] and we celebrated the championship so let's hope we can celebrate one step closer to where we want to be.
"It was easy when you had Thomas Myhre in goal," Solskjaer joked at the expense of his former Norway team-mate.
"Scoring four against them was a great memory for me. Some of them were a little bit scruffy, but they were goals."