Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford can make decisive impact on Man United’s season with both players able to continue recovery from injuries during coronavirus shutdown
- Both Pogba and Rashford could yet have an impact on Man United’s season
- The coronavirus shutdown means both could continue their injury rehabilitation
- Pogba underwent ankle surgery and was closing in on a return to training
- Rashford suffered a back injury in January but could yet play again this season
- United boss Solskjaer hopes they can maintain their pre-shutdown momentum
- Solskjaer warns rivals United could ‘exploit’ market mayhem to sign targets
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has urged Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford to seize the opportunity to impact Manchester United’s season once football resume after the coronavirus shutdown.
Pogba was closing in on a return to training after a steady rehabilitation following ankle surgery having not feature for United since Boxing Day.
Rashford hasn’t played since the FA Cup win over Wolves on January 15 having injured his back and was expected to miss the remainder of the season.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hopes Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford will return from injury and make a decisive impact on Manchester United’s season after the coronavirus shutdown
Midfielder Pogba hasn’t featured for United since the Boxing Day win over Newcastle United
Striker Marcus Rashford has been out with a back injury since the middle of January
But the unexpected coronavirus pandemic means both Pogba and Rashford could feature for United again if the season is completed over the summer.
Speaking to Gary Neville and Geoff Shreeves on a Sky Sports podcast, Solskjaer said: ‘Paul and Marcus have been out, now we’ve still got games left, and I think everyone in the league will start more or less on the same level.
‘Maybe they’ve got more motivation to keep going now, as they can see when they’re back they’re maybe on the same level or even a better level physically.
‘In a way, they have got an opportunity here to play a bigger part in this season than they had hoped. And they are big players for us, some of the most important players.’
Rashford is United’s leading goalscorer this season with 19 across all competitions, while Solskjaer will hope Pogba can find some of his old midfield influence.
The shutdown came at a bad time for United, who were 11 matches undefeated, having won eight of them, in the Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Europa League.
Pogba was closing in on a return to training before the shutdown and could now be involved when the season resumes
Rashford had been expected to miss the rest of the season with his back injury but the delays could mean United’s top scorer returns to impact the campaign
They sat fifth in the Premier League table, just three points behind Chelsea in the fourth and final Champions League place.
United had also progressed to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, where a trip to Norwich City awaited them, and led Austrian side LASK 5-0 following the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie.
It remains uncertain whether the Europa League will be completed with UEFA clearing room in the calendar for domestic season to be finished.
Solskjaer just hopes United can quickly rediscover their form when football finally returns.
He said: ‘I’ve always been impressed with the players when we’ve had breaks. When we came back from pre-season they were really focused.
‘We’ve had the mid-season break now, we did a few things tactically in Marbella in that week and they came back focused.
‘We can kick on, I’m sure we can get a good start and climb up that table if we keep doing the right thing.
‘Even with the FA Cup and Europa League, if that goes ahead, we’ve got good chances there.’
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