Man management is one of the big challenges of the modern game in an era with pampered stars on astronomical salaries.

Unlike predecessor Jose Mourinho who would publicly criticise his players, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is completely different in front of the cameras and backs them to the hilt.

Behind the scenes he has to have a ruthless streak, especially when trying to select a best 11 out of a squad of more than 20.

The United boss insists he does not always walk his players through each and every selection decision and explain on an individual basis why they are in or out.

Speaking to the club website, he says he does on occasions, and at other times he gives them the silent treatment, believing the situation speaks for itself, and the players should realise the need to up their game.

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Solskjaer explained: “You have to make yourself available for the next game, and competitive situations are what I like. I like to see players who say, okay, he’s left me out for two or three games without explanation.

“I don’t have to explain every time. Sometimes I do yeah, but it’s a way for me to say I need more. You just can’t speak to them 100 times and say we need a change in you. You’ve had opportunities.”

(Photo by John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Jesse Lingard and Andreas Pereira are among the players to be dropped from the team and even left out of the matchday squad recently. Both could be back in tonight against Derby.

Phil Jones is another who has effectively been put into a corner where he is only used in emergencies.

Learned from the best

Solskjaer appears to have the support of his players and looks to be managing his squad well overall, although we would like to see Angel Gomes given more chances.

He learned under former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson and saw how he interacted with players and dealt with selection issues on a weekly basis.

Solskjaer is making this part of the job appear easy when so many struggle with it, and it’s the part we as fans don’t get to see.

It’s clear he wants healthy competition in the squad and he wants his players to make his decisions tough.

With Paul Pogba on the verge of a return, midfield selection issues will become tricky. If Odion Ighalo or Mason Greenwood can net a brace tonight, there will be a difficult decision up front this weekend.

It’s fascinating to hear him give an insight into his approach and decision making.

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