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Manchester United

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer warns his Man Utd stars not to be ‘conned’ by Tottenham

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has warned his men not to be CONNED by Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham in Sunday’s grudge match.

Solskjaer admits his Manchester United players will be fired up to avenge the 6-1 humiliation they suffered at Old Trafford six months ago but has urged them to keep cool.

United were trailing 2-1 when Anthony Martial hit out after provocation from Erik Lamela and the Frenchman was sent off by Anthony Taylor.

Solskjaer’s side then collapsed to an embarrassing defeat, which heaped early-season pressure on the Norwegian.

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He confesses United were severely undercooked and off the pace that day but re-emphasises how crucial the slip in discipline was.

Solskjaer said: “We got conned into a red card. We gave ourselves a difficult game by having ten men.

Erik Lamela's reaction resulted in a sending off when these sides met in October
Erik Lamela’s reaction resulted in a sending off when these sides met in October

“And that is something we have to be aware of, that we can’t react like this because we know in games like this we will be wound up.”

Solskjaer is fully aware Mourinho will be telling his players to rile a team they toyed with at Old Trafford.

And even though Solskjaer is convinced United “have learned a lot from that”, he knows there will be a bit more fire in his players’ bellies as they look to atone for that collapse back at the start of October.

He said: “The players will remember that game with a lot of pain and their pride has been hurt.

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“Our professional pride has been hurt. The manner in which we lost is not ourselves and not worthy of us.

“Pre-season was short and we were not up to the standard required but we were so poor. And I am pretty sure we will see some players wanting to prove we are better than that.”

Anthony Martial was given his marching orders
Anthony Martial was given his marching orders

Having played a game more, Spurs were four points ahead of United after their win in Manchester but Mourinho now goes into the home fixture ELEVEN points behind his old club.

A win for United will further tighten their grip on second place but that will not be something celebrated by Solskjaer.

He said: “We should never settle for a second place at Manchester United …and we will never settle for a second place. That’s the point here. We have seen the heights and we know what this club is capable of.

“I’ve been here now for a little while myself and it has taken time for us to be in this position and hopefully we can be better next season because this is below our ambitions.”

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After using Davd de Gea in the comfortable 2-0 Europa League win against Granada, Solskjaer is likely to bring Dean Henderson back for the clash with Spurs.

But he said a starting eleven will not be picked until the day of the game as he awaits reports on knocks to Paul Pogba, Luke Shaw and Marcus Rashford.

“I don’t think I will pick a team until Sunday morning, to be honest. Saturday will just be a day of recovery and see how the bodies feel. So I don’t know until then.

“I hope Paul, Luke and Marcus will be ready after tonight.”

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