Man Utd: Solskjaer previews Watford FA Cup clash
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed Scott McTominay has fierce competition when it comes to being named club captain on a permanent basis. The Scotland international scored the only goal of the game as the Red Devils beat Watford 1-0 in the FA Cup on Saturday night. He filled in as skipper for Harry Maguire, who started the showdown at Old Trafford on the bench.
United haven’t won the FA Cup since 2016, when goals from Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard gave them a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace under Louis van Gaal.
But they took their first steps towards lifting the trophy on Saturday, fighting their way to a narrow win over Watford at Old Trafford.
McTominay scored the only goal of the game on a night where the Scotland international was made captain, bagging in the fifth minute of the tie.
But Solskjaer has dealt his hopes of securing the captaincy a blow by revealing ‘quite a few’ want the armband.
“There’s quite a few that want that band!” the Norwegian said in his post-match press conference.
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Solskjaer was, however, happy to praise McTominay for his performance after the match.
“Yeah, exactly!” he said when asked if the midfielder should be scoring more headers because of his height and physique.
“We’ve said that to him so many times as well!
“He’s strong, he’s quick, he can leap, [he has] good timing, so he should get more goals.
“Yeah, he’s developing really nicely. The leadership role as well – I wanted to see how he took to that captain’s armband, and he did really well. He didn’t shrink. He normally leads anyway, but then we just wanted to test him.”
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Solskjaer rotated for the match against Watford, making many changes to the personnel.
He allowed Bruno Fernandes to have the night off, while Maguire, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford were all only introduced from the bench rather than deployed from the start.
And Solskjaer feels rotation at this stage of the campaign is vital, saying: “Yeah, very important.
“You know we had a tough game midweek. We have a tough game midweek coming, so we were the only team having both [midweek fixtures] before and this game.
“You can see most of the teams have gone strong, picked very good strong sides, because they’ve got a week until the next game.
“I didn’t have that luxury, so it was just common sense to make changes.”
United are next in action against Burnley on Tuesday night.
And victory over Sean Dyche’s side would see them leapfrog Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table ahead of the match between the two giants on Sunday.
The Red Devils last won the title under Sir Alex Ferguson, back in 2013 when the club had the likes of Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Nani at their disposal.
But they’re now daring to dream of winning the trophy again – and victory over Burnley would represent a positive step in the right direction.
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