Football

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hits back after criticism over Rashford injury

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has strongly refuted claims that he put himself first with his ill-fated decision to play Marcus Rashford against Wolves in the FA Cup.

United's England striker could be out for three months after suffering a back injury in last week's third-round match, which United won 1-0.

Former England and Arsenal striker Ian Wright said this week that Solskjaer, under intense pressure to improve the club's fortunes, prioritised his own needs over those of his player.

But the Norwegian boss insisted that Rashford was fit enough to play in the win for United, in which the 22-year-old substitute lasted just 16 minutes.

"I never put myself before the team," Solskjaer said on Tuesday, ahead of this morning's 2-0 home defeat by Burnley.

"I always put the team and the club before anything else.

"Marcus has had minor discomfort in his back since the Burnley game, two weeks before this game (Wolves).

"We've had scans, we've monitored him, there was no injury there, just complaints."

Solskjaer said he had spoken to Rashford in the build-up to the match.

"I had a conversation with him two days before and told him I was going to rest him," he said. "He felt fine and was very adamant that if needed, he could do at least half an hour as we wanted to go through in the cup.

"That shows you Marcus' attitude."

Solskjaer added that if they find something in the transfer market, that might be one solution, but the best solution is the other players stepping up.- AFP

Football