The availability of Mauricio Pochettino may have added pressure onto the shoulders of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford has provided a resounding backing of his manager.
The 22-year-old is in a spell of good form after facing criticism earlier in the season for missing key chances. Rashford has scored nine goals in his last 10 games for club and country and is enjoying playing on the left flank.
Solskjaer’s United have won five of their last six games but remain nine points behind the team in fourth. Fans have been concerned at a number of points this season and rightly so. Rashford’s words are a positive reminder of where Solskjaer’s qualities truly lie as a manager: in his relationship with players and his knowledge of the club.
‘Solskjaer is great’, says Rashford
That will prove particularly important as the season progresses and Pochettino remains available to take over. Rashford outlined why he enjoys working with Solskjaer.
“Ole is a great guy and he has the club’s interests at heart so there’s not a better person for the job in my opinion,” Rashford said.
“There was no hesitation for me over signing a new contract.
“And it was the same for Ole as well – I could see where his head was at, where he wanted the club to be at and for me it was just a no-brainer.
“We were on the same page and wanted the same things for the club.”
United trophyless and Solskjaer under pressure
United haven’t won a trophy since Jose Mourinho’s first season in charge, two-and-a-half years ago. This season may be another trophyless campaign. More questions will be asked, especially if Mourinho can guide Tottenham Hotspur to some silverware in his new job in North London.
“If we come out of this season with top four but without a trophy, I wouldn’t be happy,” Rashford told Sky Sports.
“If we manage to get some trophies and get ourselves into the top four then, of course, it has been a successful season.
“For me it is just about putting markers down for what we can do in the future because we know that this period is not going to change overnight, Ole’s not going to get what he wants overnight.”
It’s pleasing to hear Rashford reflecting the views of most United fans. The match-going fans, in particular, are content with Solskjaer’s vision for the side and pleased with his work so far. The contrast between the online discussion about Solskjaer and the support given to the Norwegian at Old Trafford every week is enormous.
Rashford’s interview is also a key reminder of what it is that makes Solskjaer the right man for the job. Admittedly, his quality as a football tactician isn’t comparable to many others. But he has changed the atmosphere at the club.
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