Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has warned the Premier League that the sort of fixture congestion Manchester United have experienced this month cannot happen again.
United played their third game in six days against Leicester on Tuesday evening, losing 2-1.
Solskjaer made 10 changes to the side which beat Aston Villa 3-1 at the weekend, with only Mason Greenwood retaining his starting spot.
Asked about his wholesale changes ahead of the game , Solskjaer said: “That was the only way to do it.”
He stressed his responsibility for his players’ welfare, adding: “I wish I could have said let’s go full out in all the games but it’s impossible.
“Talking about integrity in the league and stuff, don’t blame me when I have to make changes because I have to. It’s not safe for them to play all four [games this week] so I have got to prioritise.”
While the condensed Premier League calendar has brought unforeseen difficulties for everyone, United’s run-in has been particularly relentless.
Their run to the Europa League final has contributed to their fixture pile-up, as has the fact that their game against Liverpool earlier this month was postponed after fans protesting against the Glazer family’s ownership made it onto the pitch at Old Trafford.
The Premier League’s decision to reschedule the game for this week has been widely criticised, with Solskjaer describing it as a decision made by “people who sit behind their desks in suits who have never played football” last week.
Jurgen Klopp, who takes Liverpool back to Old Trafford on Thursday, admitted that the scheduling was “crazy” and that the Premier League could have made “a better situation” for United.
In his interview with BT Sport after the Leicester defeat, it was put to Solskjaer that the ever-increasing demands of modern football could see extensive rotation become normalised.
“No, never,” he said. “Because it can’t be like this again.
“You can’t play Thursday, Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday. It’s impossible.
“That’s the reason why we had to make these changes, because it’s just unheard of.
“[I’ve] got to say it again, if this game was tomorrow, no problem, and we had the next one on Saturday.
“But this is impossible for the players to perform at this level, Thursday night, Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday. Impossible.”
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