Three questions for Manchester United ahead of facing Colchester

Manchester United host League 2 outfit Colchester United on Wednesday, with a place in the EFL Cup semi-finals at stake.

United’s weekend draw with Everton raised more questions for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after a little run where it seemed his side had turned a corner.

We’ve picked out three of the most pressing for the Norwegian to answer in the week which marks his one-year anniversary in the Old Trafford dugout.

John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Have United learned from Rochdale draw?

United faced a similar banana skin against Rochdale in the third round and only scraped through on a penalty shoot-out.

They were only able to turn 64 per cent possession into eight shots on target on a night where they didn’t move the ball anywhere near quickly enough.

The lesson for United was that no matter who the opponent is, moving the ball at snail’s pace and playing without hunger and intent is a recipe for disaster.

United cannot just turn up and beat Colchester, who will be backed by a raucous fanbase and send out a team playing the game of their lives.

There was an arrogance in the side against Rochdale which will cause problems if it is seen again versus the Essex club.

OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

How seriously are United taking the EFL Cup?

Solskjaer knows that trophies are the currency at United and he has a fantastic opportunity to guide his side into the semi-finals.

This young Reds squad needs to get the taste for lifting silverware.

On top of that, the last thing Solskjaer needs is a morale-sapping, headline-grabbing night at a time when his job has remained secure despite sackings across the Premier League.

But there’s a hectic festive period approaching and Solskjaer is no doubt keen to manage his squad carefully through it.

So it’s a delicate balance between rotation and getting the job done. Solskjaer must get it right.

John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Can Greenwood keep hot form going?

Mason Greenwood has three goals from his last two matches, inspiring the spurt of goals against AZ Alkmaar before saving United against Everton.

Wednesday’s game looks perfect for him to keep that scoring run going.

It might be approaching the point where Solskjaer is considering resting him, keeping him fresh for league engagements.

But this is an ideal chance for him to get further experience playing men’s football against seasoned, hardened professionals looking to give United the shock of their lives.

Greenwood could be the man to fire United into the semis.

Thoughts? Comment Below
LOGIN to Comment
LOGIN to Comment
Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.