Solskjaer urges Man Utd stars to ‘step forward’ to stop Fernandes problem

Date published: Sunday 7th March 2021 8:30 - Jonny Whitfield

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has called on his players to “step forward” and help Bruno Fernandes in the chance creation department.

Fernandes hauled his side to a top-four finish last term and could do so again this time round.

But while he has scored 15 Premier League goals and assisted 11 others this term, his influence has waned of late.

Three successive 0-0 draws, including against Chelsea, have led to concern that the Portuguese lacks impact in big games.

Former Sporting boss Carlos Carvalhal, meanwhile, urged United on Friday not to rely so much on the playmaker. Solskjaer has now echoed that sentiment, calling on his other stars to play more of a part.

“I think taking responsibility is important for everyone when they play football,” he told reporters (via the Daily Mirror).

“Don’t wait for things to happen, you’ve got to make things happen. And we expect everyone to be a leader, everyone to take that responsibility.

“Of course it might be Bruno I but know that teams are trying to man-mark him at times and that’s not a dig at anyone.

“That’s just that sometimes in football they try to stop your best player. And someone else will have to step forward.

“Bruno might find a position, make space for others, create. He has created chances for others even when he has not touched the ball. And you see others have created chances for Bruno when they’ve not touched the ball.”

Solskjaer rues almost ‘perfect’ away game

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Man Utd press conference December 2019

Despite their lack of goals in recent games, Solskjaer insisted that his players have had chances to pull off big results.

“It’s about the movement and creating space for your team-mate and taking that responsibility,” the manager added.

“We have had big moments in big games recently. Chances that we would normally put away and then everyone is rosy, everyone says we are the best thing since sliced bread.

“The away game against Chelsea wasn’t far away from being almost a perfect away game.

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“We should have had a penalty, we should have got the last counter-attack, one last pass away from winning the game.

“It is about taking the big moments and having some luck in the big moments.”

United face Manchester City on Sunday, with Pep Guardiola’s men looking to take another step closer to reclaiming the title.

READ MORE: Man Utd told why sale of struggling star would prove a costly mistake

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