Solskjaer tells squad they can no longer 'fake it' to get game time

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer tells his squad they can no longer ‘fake it’ to make it into his Manchester United side as he hails improvement in mentality at Old Trafford since he was put in charge two years ago

  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits his players get angry when they are rotated
  • The Norwegian has had to change his side after a hectic start to the season 
  • Solskjaer says he has noticed a significant mentality shift in his players
  •  Manchester United moved second after Marcus Rashford’s winner over Wolves

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says his Manchester United stars know they can’t ‘fake it’ in the first-team at Old Trafford anymore.

Solskjaer admits his players get angry when he has rotated them during a hectic start to the season that could see United go joint top if they beat Aston Villa at home on Friday night.

But it hasn’t always been that way during his first two years in charge, and the United boss believes there has been a big change in mentality at the club with the arrival of players like Bruno Fernandes and Harry Maguire.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes his side have changed their menality as they push for a title

Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes have both contributed significantly since joining the club

‘Definitely,’ he said. ‘One, they’re two years older than when I came. Two, some of them are really strong personalities that we’ve brought in and they have been a really good influence.

‘We have competition for places which means you cannot go around and think you can just fake your way being part of this team. You only deserve to be in a team that you contribute to.

‘I think everyone has realised they are privileged to be part of Man United, such a fantastic club with a fantastic history.

‘When you’re here, enjoy it as much as you can and maybe you’ll experience some fantastic times.’

Solskjaer made six changes for Tuesday’s win over Wolves and will make more for the visit of Villa. He admits his players aren’t happy about being rested, but it is necessary to deal with the heavy fixture list this season.

The former United striker experienced it for himself under Sir Alex Ferguson, having once scored four goals against Everton in December 1999 and then been an unused substitute at West Ham a week later.

Marcus Rashford’s 93rd-minute winner against Wolves took Manchester United up to second

‘It’s horses for courses,’ added Solskjaer. ‘Some players you feel are more suitable for some teams but, of course, you do plan ahead.

‘I remember those four goals and I remember also the times that you feel you deserve to play and you’re left out.

Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba kept their places in the team after playing well against Everton

‘That’s part of being at Man United, you’ve got top players everywhere. We know that throughout the season if you’re going to win something you have to contribute.

‘That’s just the way it’s going to be. Players will have to be angry with me until the next time they play because, believe you me, they’re not happy when I tell them they’re starting on the bench.

‘We have a strong squad and have rotated a lot. We’ve not really called it a settled XI because I don’t think this season is going to be about that anyway. It’s going to be about the squad. It’s going to be about the 25 players.

Solskjaer praised Scott McTominay and Fred despite the pair not starting against Wolves

‘I think towards the end of the season that will help us. It has to be done this way. When you leave Scott (McTominay) and Fred out (against Wolves) it’s not easy because they deserve to play every game, but Nemanja (Matic) and Paul (Pogba) played so well against Everton. 

‘Injuries and suspensions will happen, so I think our squad is well capable of being ready for every game.’

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