Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer shows class with comments about Marcus Rashford

Man Utd: Solskjaer responds to racism directed at Rashford

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When Marcus Rashford missed a huge chance for Manchester United against FC Young Boys in 2018, Jose Mourinho was furious. He turned to his coaching team, knowing the cameras were on him, producing a petulant reaction to the spurned opportunity. But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seems the polar opposite.

Rashford was something of an enigma under Mourinho.

A good player, but only good. He wasn’t the 58-year-old’s main forward over Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Romelu Lukaku, while also not being guaranteed a place on the left wing due to the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Alexis Sanchez and Anthony Martial.

Since Mourinho’s departure, however, Rashford has improved considerably.

He’s been in fine fettle for United ever since Solskjaer’s appointment – but still remains prone to missing big chances.

Against Real Sociedad on Thursday night, he spurned two big opportunities before finally scoring in the second half with a cool finish.

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Mourinho may have taken him to town on that. Even though the Red Devils ran out comfortable winners, they could have proved costly on another day at the office.

But Solskjaer isn’t Mourinho. And, speaking ahead of his side’s showdown with Newcastle on Sunday, showed his class by refusing to criticise the England international.


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Instead, he gave him words of encouragement.

“He is getting better and better, closer and closer. He’s improving all the time,” he said.

“The chances he gets because of his athleticism and movement.

“He was strong to hold him off for the first one but the goalkeeper came close to him and that was a hardish one.

“The second one, the goalkeeper comes out and that’s another one we’re working on.

“We had loads of practise on that yesterday actually. He’s improving and, of course, I can see we are still working. He knows what we want him to improve on and the goal was a good example of composure and technical quality.”

Solskjaer is no pushover, however.

He demands perfection behind the scenes as he aims to help United end their four-year wait for silverware.

And he carried a warning to David De Gea by insisting Dean Henderson could oust him as the club’s No 1, after excelling against Sociedad on Thursday night.

“Of course Dean is in with a shout,” he said.

“We pick a team on Saturday and Dean was very solid, good kicking and he could or should have had an assist for Marcus, which is another thing we worked on.

“He was clean in his handling, clean in his short passes and it was a good performance.

“He is maturing all the time but I have a very, very good goalkeeper in David. He saved us against West Brom so I can’t say to you now.

“I always speak to the players first before I say who’s playing and they will know.”

Solskjaer also expressed a belief that United must produce blistering football more consistently as they go in search of glory.

He said: “You know, every game creates opportunities, it creates problems.

“Teams give you spaces and it’s just a natural thing because the pitch is as big as it is.

“There are 11 players on each team and some teams give you space behind, some give you it in between, sometimes teams try to press high or press low.

“We have to learn to adapt to every single game, it’s about learning from every game.

“So, in the the last [Premier League] game, for example, West Brom defended deep and it wasn’t good enough from us.

“We knew about the spaces on Thursday so we have to play the game correctly and it’s also about quality, when you create chances to take that last pass or last cross. It’s about getting better and improving all the time.”

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