Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Manchester United fans' protests must be 'peaceful'

Norwegian manager reiterates need for supporters' voices to be heard but said actions of some last week were 'step too far'

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reiterated the need for Manchester United supporters' voices to be heard, but said protests had to be "peaceful" after Sunday's anti-Glazer demonstration forced the game against Liverpool to be called off.

Fan anger at the owners has been stirred up by the European Super League fiasco, with thousands of protesters descending on Old Trafford demanding change before the high-profile Premier League match against their rivals.

A number of fans broke into the stadium and invaded the pitch during the protest, while another group made their frustrations clear at the team hotel in the city centre.

"It was a difficult day for us," said Solskjaer, speaking for the first time since Sunday's postponement.

"Of course we wanted to play, we wanted to beat Liverpool for the fans because our job has to be getting good performances, good results on the pitch.

"That's the players' focus, that's my focus but, as I said before the game, we have to listen.

"We have to hear the fans' voice. It's everyone's right to protest, it has to be in a civilised manner, though. It has to be in a peaceful manner.

"Unfortunately, when you break in, when police officers get injured, scarred, that's too far. That's one step too far.

"When it gets out of hand like this, it's a police matter. It's not about showing your opinions any more."

Sunday's postponement is far from ideal preparation for a shot at reaching the Europa League final, although United head to Roma boasting a 6-2 lead from the semi-final first leg.

"My job, my focus has to be on the results, but you don't really need to be a rocket scientist to see that we have challenges and frictions and things that have to be dealt with within communication," Solskjaer said.

"Other individuals than me of course have started already, discussing with the fans, communicating with fan groups, which is going to be massive for us going forward.

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"I think the players have done terrific to be where they are.

"I would be sad if all the good work the players have done is disrupted, so our focus is on playing well and getting through to a final now."

While the need for improved communication is clear, there was no Glazer presence at the emergency United fans forum held on Friday.

Asked whether one the owners should speak directly to supporters, Solskjaer said: "I've been communicating with the owners. I've got an apology personally.

"They've apologised to the fans that this came out. I know that there has started communication between other individuals than me and the fans.

"As I said, it's a difficult position to be in for me, this, because I've got to focus on the football.

"I've always had a good relationship and they listen to me and they do listen to the fans and I'm sure there'll be better communication coming."

Meanwhile, Daniel James has not travelled with the United squad to the Italian capital due to injury.

The winger joins Anthony Martial and Phil Jones on the sidelines, with Amad Diallo and Anthony Elanga named as part of the 24-man squad heading to Italy.

Updated: May 5, 2021 07:22 PM

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