Sol­sk­jaer wel­comes win­ter break

The Citizen (KZN) - - Sport - Manch­ester

– 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

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