Sun. Oct 25th, 2020

Manchester United: Solskjaer highlights positives from workmanlike win over Watford

manchester unitedOle Gunnar Solskjaer made it clear that he expected more from his Manchester United charges after a satisfactory display against a tricky Watford team.

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Manchester United were made to work hard in their first engagement since the international break but gave Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a 2-1 win to celebrate his appointment as permanent manager.

The boss was pleased with the effort of his players to shake off injury and the rigours of international duty and get a result but wants the team to play more fluent football at Old Trafford.

Both goal-scorers for United had missed the international break with injury but come through to resolve a potential attacking crisis.

Speaking to MUTV after the match Solskjaer said: “It’s always hard work when you play in the Premier League and, of course today, it showed that we’d been away on internationals. It showed that a few players have been injured, not really 100 per cent match-fit yet, but we got through it and that’s important. We started off sloppily. The first 15-20 minutes, I think Watford deserved to get the lead. It was almost like we were waiting for them to score.

“We managed to change the system a little bit and got into the game. Juan [Mata] got into the game for us. We created chances. We scored a great goal, could have had more goals because it was end-to-end in the last 20 minutes of the first half. The second half was disappointing, again.”

Solskjaer felt that perhaps his players had been going too hard in training which he said went very well this week ahead of a win that doesn’t deserve to be called scrappy.

He said: “We’ve been excellent. The players have been excellent, they’ve done magnificent. The training on Friday was the best since I’ve been here, maybe too good. The intensity, the quality, the focus was good. Then we came out here and we were a little bit unsure. But after 15-20 minutes today we could see what the potential is in this group and we can improve on the second half.”

The manager lauded the impact of United defensive stalwarts Chris Smalling and Phil Jones whom he felt formed the basis for the win, with their solid defense that kept Watford from scoring until the 90th minute.

“Shawy [Luke Shaw], I think he was one of the big plusses. Rashy and Anthony up front too, but the two centre-backs with [Phil] Jones, especially, and Chris [Smalling], I thought they defended well for us. Without them today, I think it would have been a different result, I have to say,” Solskjaer said.

Solskjaer backed Marcus Rashford to become a very good goalscorer with plenty evidence to support the managers theory, including another well taken and important goal on Saturday.

“He’s confident. He’s practised more and more finishing. Not only his shots, he’s doing more and more, wants to do more and more, and he’ll turn into a very good goalscorer. Don’t worry about that,” the manager said.

Manchester United are next in action on Tuesday when they travel to the home of their FA Cup vanquishers Wolves.

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