Ole defends decision to play Marcus
OLE Gunnar Solskjaer last night rejected an accusation that he put himself before Marcus Rashford’s health but is giving no guarantees the stricken Manchester United striker will play again this season.
BBC pundit Ian Wright claimed that Solskjaer is responsible for Rashford’s back injury after using him as a substitute in the FA Cup replay against Wolves last week even though he wasn’t fully fit. The 22-year-old suffered a double stress fracture and now faces months of rehabilitation.
Solskjaer hit back at the former Arsenal striker ahead of United’s game at home to Burnley tonight and insisted Rashford was not already carrying an injury when he came on.
“I never put myself before the team,” he said. “I always put the team and the club before anything else. We have to manage players every single day, loads of things that Ian Wright doesn’t know about. This one is just one of those unfortunate things. Marcus has had minor discomfort in his back since the Burnley game on December 28. We’ve had scans and monitored him. There’s not been any injury there. He was very, very adamant that, if needed, he could do at least half an hour against Wolves because we want to go through in the FA Cup.
“That is what you do when you play for Man United. Every time you play you put your body on the line.
“I have suffered some injuries for the club. But I cannot micromanage every single player.’’
United hope their England forward will not require surgery. But, having said that Rashford will need an initial period of six weeks’ rest, Solskjaer admitted it will be months before he returns.
Asked if United’s 19-goal top scorer could miss the rest of the season and potentially Euro 2020, he replied: ‘Marcus is going to get as long as he needs to get fit. We are not going to risk him when he has had an injury.”
Rashford’s injury has again highlighted United’s blunder in allowing Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez to join Inter Milan last summer without a replacement. “Harry Hindsight? He’s quite clever,” added Solskjaer.”But the best solution is the players stepping up. Mason Greenwood is going to get more chances now and Juan Mata will have to step up again.’
United have been charged by the FA for failing to ensure their players ‘conducted themselves in an orderly fashion’ after they protested to referee Craig Pawson for initially awarding Roberto Firmino’s goal — later ruled out by VAR — in Sunday’s loss at Liverpool.