Recalled Reds benefit from Watford tie

Sunday 10 January 2021 13:30

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gave the thumbs up to a trio of Manchester United players given chances to boost their game time against Watford in the Emirates FA Cup win at Old Trafford.

The Reds manager made nine changes to his side for the third-round tie against the Hornets, from the team that faced Manchester City in the Carabao Cup semi-final last Wednesday. And for many players, this provided much-needed minutes in the tank as United face a congested fixture list.

In his press conference after the match, the boss was asked about the contributions made by Brandon Williams, Mason Greenwood and Donny van de Beek in particular.
Van de Beek played the full 90 minutes.
For right-back Williams, it was only his sixth appearance of the campaign against Watford. But Solskjaer highlighted the 20-year-old’s efforts as one of the plusses of the evening.

“I thought Brandon did well. He had a very good game,” said the manager.

“He has not played for a while and he was  playing on the right-hand side. We want him to be an attacking full-back and it might be easier for him on the right side. I was very pleased with Brandon. He was one of the positives.”
Greenwood was handed a rare chance to be a central striker for United’s first team and Solskjaer feels the teenager will have gained from the experience.

“We had a front four with Dan (James), Juan (Mata), Jesse (Lingard) and Mason in front of them with the license to chop and change a little bit and find positions,” said the boss.

“Mason is naturally a floaty forward anyway. Sometimes when you are young, to stay up front is a challenge and he wanted to get a touch on the ball. He benefited from this game.”
Greenwood spearheaded United's attack.
Our summer signing from Ajax, van de Beek, made the ninth start of his United career against Watford and also impressed Solskjaer.

“I think Donny showed again his qualities,” said Ole.

“He is very clean technically and makes good decisions. What a great little flick to play Juan through in the first half.

“He has that quality to open up tight games so definitely he will benefit from this game as well.”