Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer refuted the notion that his selection changes were a mistake, declaring that they were ‘necessary.’
Man Utd bowed out of the FA Cup at the quarter final stages in tepid fashion.
Sloppiness in possession characterised their display as Solskjaer rested a number of key personnel for the contest.
Mason Greenwood pulled his side level after Kelechi Iheanacho’s opener, but that moment was a rare bright spark in an otherwise dismal display.
FULL MATCH REPORT: Iheanacho double helps Leicester dump sloppy Man Utd out in quarters
Speaking to the BBC after the match, Solskjaer said: “We didn’t have the spark tonight – but it’s understandable.
“This team have been fantastic in the last three or four months. We played every three days and been on a great run.
“It just caught up with us, all the games and travels. Thursday night in Milan was a big night and took a lot of out of us physically. We didn’t have the extra zip, authority and confidence today.
“We tried to get on the front foot and start well because sometimes you can get that adrenaline boost and confidence if you get a goal and that can carry you over the line.
“We’ve got too many players that have played too many games and too many that haven’t really had much football, Anthony Martial, Donny van de Beek, Paul Pogba and others are trying to get in who haven’t had enough football. We didn’t have enough against a tough team.”
Solskjaer pressed on raft of changes
It's a quadruple substitution for Man Utd.
On come Shaw, Fernandes, McTominay and Cavani.
— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) March 21, 2021
Regarding the much-changed line-up he fielded that included dropping club talisman Bruno Fernandes to the bench, Solskjaer added: “I would’ve done the same again, the changes were necessary to do.
“We knew Paul [Pogba] wouldn’t last more than an hour and I don’t think I would do anything differently. What goes on behind the scenes isn’t always known.”
On the first goal conceded after Man Utd were caught playing out from the back, the Norwegian said: “We want to build from the back and want the players to be confident – sometimes it doesn’t work and that’s one time it didn’t.
“When we win, we win together and when we lose, we lose together. We’re not pointing fingers and blaming – the second one is a good goal by the boy but maybe with a zip of energy we could’ve got to him and wouldn’t have been done as easily in the middle.
“That’s been one of our strengths, keeping clean sheets and been dogged but we didn’t have the opportunity.”
“We’ve got the Europa League and Premier League to concentrate on – yes we would’ve liked to go to Wembley but now all the focus is on the games we do have.
“We’re in a good position in the league and we want to keep improving, of course Leicester are just behind us so it won’t be easy but we want to keep going and get as far as possible in the Europa as well.”