Manchester United are licking their wounds heading into tomorrow’s crunch derby at Old Trafford following six defeats in eight games.
The fallen giants appear to be in freefall and in serious danger of failing to secure Champions League qualification.
Beating Pep Guardiola’s title favourites is crucial to their chances of securing a top four finish.
Solskjaer admits his flops are ‘hurting’ from the 4-0 thrashing at Everton on Sunday.
He reckons an explosive showdown with their neighbours is the perfect chance for United to show their mettle and bounce back.
But the Norwegian knows Manchester City will be out to snap at their heels and kick them through more pain if given the chance.
He said: “That’s the best game we could ask for with the players hurt – as they definitely were.
“We had a meeting after the game (at Goodison) and all the players were definitely disappointed, really, really hurt by that performance.
“The City game is the perfect one, but there’s no hiding place on the pitch”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
“The City game is the perfect one, but there’s no hiding place on the pitch.
“The fans will back you if you give that effort. We’ve got to be ready for the press, for their pressing so we’ve got to defend well, got to be ready for their aggression.
“They will snap at your heels and kick you, there will be fouls, absolutely no doubt about it – and when you watch those games they commit so many players forward.”
Solskjaer is confident he will get a response from his players and he added: “We focus on Wednesday and I’m sure we’ll get a response.
“You don’t punish them as in making them run up to the mountains and back.
“We believe in them, these players know they let themselves down as individuals, as a team.
“Me as well, I’m in charge and I’m the one giving instructions how we’re going to play – and it’s my duty to get them performing better. I’m sure we’ll get a response.”