Solskjaer welcomes winter break
– Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hopes a two-week winter break can rejuvenate his side’s season after a 0-0 draw with Wolves did little for their hopes of a top four finish in the Premier League.
United handed a debut to £47 million signing Bruno Fernandes (right) in midfield, but the reason for the Portuguese’s purchase remained obvious as Solskjaer’s men again lacked guile and goals without the injured Marcus Rashford up front.
“We’ve played so many games in the last two months. The players are down to the bare bones, their energy levels are down and they need a break now,” said Solskjaer.
United are not in action again until they travel to Chelsea on 17 February.
That clash appears a must-win for Solskjaer’s men as they remain six points behind Chelsea in fourth, despite a run of four wins in 13 games for the Blues, and fall a point behind Sheffield United.
Rashford is not expected to return for at least another couple of months, which is why United made a surprise last-minute move for Odion Ighalo on loan from Shanghai Shenhua ahead of last Friday’s transfer deadline.
“We do lack that little spark in the last third,” added Solskjaer. “Give us this break and we’ll start scoring goals.”
Wolves also harbour ambitions of playing Champions League football, for the first time, next season and they also remain six points adrift of Chelsea, but they were overly cautious in their approach.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s men also now have nearly two weeks off and they too look in need of a break after already playing 41 games this season due to their early start in the Europa League.
“We don’t think about the top four. We now have a rest and during this break we will try to improve our game,” said Nuno.
Fernandes was keen to make his mark as he went head-to-head with many of his international team-mates. “Bruno is a top player,” added Solskjaer. “First half, everyone was getting the ball into his feet and Bruno is one of those players who wants players moving in front of him and we didn’t do that.” – AFP