Solskjaer suggests red seats may be to blame for Man Utd's home form this season

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Man Utd 2020-21
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The Red Devils have a better record away from Old Trafford and the manager believes it may have something to do with the wraps over the empty seats

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has suggested the red wrap on the seats at Old Trafford could have contributed to Manchester United's inconsistent home form with the players unable to pick each other out.

United have won 27 points at Old Trafford this season, losing four times and drawing three, compared to collecting 36 points on the road where they are on an unbeaten run stretching back 23 Premier League games.

The Red Devils face Granada in their Europa League quarter-final second leg on Thursday, looking for a first knockout round home win in this season’s competition, and Solskjaer feels the team are now at an advantage because the banners around the seats have changed.

What has been said?

Solskjaer was asked about the discrepancy between his side’s home and away form, and suggested it may have had something to do with the red seats in the stadium.

“You’ll see a change now, if you see the banners around the club, it’s not red anymore,” Solskjaer replied.

“We’ve looked into this, there shouldn’t be a reason, really. But some of the payers have mentioned that split-second decision you have to make where you look over your shoulder to see if your team-mate 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.

"There shouldn’t be any reason but, then again, if you have a 4-0 advantage [against Real Sociedad] you don’t really have to win that game, 0-0 was a good result, then the first game against Milan, we conceded in the last minute.

"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.”

What has been changed at Old Trafford?

When games restarted last year after lockdown the club covered all of the seats at Old Trafford with impressive wraps which either had pictures of fans who had submitted their personal photographs for the mosaic, advertising, or messages of support.

The banners around the lower tiers of the stadium were changed a couple of weeks ago to launch their SEE RED anti-discrimination campaign which is aiming to combat racism within the game. The seats are now covered in a black wrap with white lettering on.

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What else did Solskjaer say?

In terms of team news for the game against Granada, United will be without the suspended Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire and Scott McTominay, while Eric Bailly is still unavailable.

“It’s never a positive thing to not have every player available,” Solskjaer said. “But we’ve got players ready to deputise and come into the team.”

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