Solskjaer picks out unlikely Man Utd star who ‘deserves’ plaudits

Date published: Thursday 5th March 2020 10:30 - Steve Pearson

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Man Utd manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer claimed goalscorer Luke Shaw deserves the recognition he is now receiving following a turbulent Old Trafford career thus far, and commented on the fitness concern suffered by centre-half Harry Maguire in training.

The Red Devils cruised into the quarter finals of the FA Cup with a 3-0 victory over Derby County at Pride Park.

A brace from on-loan deadline day signing Odion Ighalo sealed the contest after full-back Shaw had earlier given Utd the lead.

The result extends Utd’s unbeaten run to nine matches with victory secured in six of those contests and just a measly two goals conceded.

Speaking to BT Sport following the match, the Norwegian manager expressed his satisfaction with the victory, but admitted his side did not have things all their own way.

“When you win 3-0 you should think so (be a comfortable win) but there were some scary moments in there,” said Solskjaer.

“Early on I didn’t think we played particularly well but when you get two goals like we did that is pleasing.”

Luke Shaw finally appears to be blossoming into becoming a genuine Utd player after enduring difficult initial years with the club under former managers.


FULL MATCH REPORT: Ighalo at the double as Man Utd cruise into FA Cup quarter finals 3-0


Solskjaer said of his left-back: “He is getting better and better and is in good form now. Left back or left centre back he has worked hard after injuries and deserves it.”

On two-goal hero Ighalo, Solskjaer said: “When you get strikers in you want them to be happy and confident. He has come in here and of course we still have a few injuries and it is great for us to have Odion to call upon.

“He is a different striker for us and scores some good goals, there is not many who could dig that one out for his first. We have a team of good players.

Much of the pre-match hype surrounded Wayne Rooney playing against the club he became a modern-day football legend with.

The ex-England captain was kept quiet for large parts of the match, but did comes close to scoring direct from a free-kick in either half that called Sergio Romero into action.

“Everyone loves Wayne,” said Solskjaer.

“All the supporters at Manchester United appreciate what he did. He played well.

“He shows class and sometimes he has too much time on the ball for my liking.”

 

Regarding the knock centre-back Maguire picked up in training on Wednesday, the Utd boss allayed fears of a lengthy lay-off: “Harry Maguire rolled over on his ankle. We hope so. I wasn’t going to rest him today but I think he will be OK.”

Two-goal hero Ighalo buzzed with joy when speaking to BBC Sport following the game, clearly ecstatic at his switch to such a huge club in the autumn of his career.

“I am happy to be around this game team, great lads and great manager, I am happy and we are working hard,” said Ighalo.

“We know we need to win the game to go through to do important things this season and end the season well. The start was not the best we can do but after 20-25 minutes we got into the game.

“I used my strength and I am happy the ball went in. For the second, they blocked it then there is nothing I can do apart from shoot.

“I had another shot but did not connect well but the most important thing is that we won.

“We want to keep the momentum going and make sure we do great this season.”

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