Ole has been getting the answers he wants
As Manchester United embark on the third international break of the season, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will want a similar upbeat reaction when the Reds return to club focus on November 24 at Bramall Lane against Sheffield United.
It was 21 days between United coming back from international duty in October against Liverpool to the 3-1 win against Brighton ahead of the latest fortnight-long spell.
The three-week programme sandwiched between the internationals saw the Reds draw with Premier League leaders Liverpool 1-1 at Old Trafford, beat Partizan Belgrade home and away in the Europa League, secure a victory at Norwich City in the league and progress in the Carabao Cup, thanks to a brilliant win at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea.
The only blip in the seven-match spell was the defeat at the Vitality Stadium against Bournemouth.
When United come back and go over to Yorkshire, there will be four months until the Euro 2020 play-offs in March. So the Reds can properly get our teeth into the campaign and build on a positive October-November since the last break.
Solskjaer believes his players have provided the right response to questions he has asked of his squad in the recent period.
“These six weeks since the last international break, when we started against Liverpool, we had five wins and a defeat. Of course, the Bournemouth game was disappointing, but we have had loads of answers to what we're trying to do,” he told the media after the Brighton success.
“If we don't get confidence from this [win against Brighton], I don't know what to tell them.
“It's been great these last two games [against Partizan and Brighton] with loads of attacking play. We should have had more goals but the intentions are there, going forward, attacking and enjoying themselves.
“Quite of a few of the fans, young boys, who have been here in the last two games will have been here thinking I want to be like [Brandon] Williams, I want to be like [Anthony] Martial, I want to be like Marcus Rashford.
“These players are young boys themselves so there are going to be ups and downs but today was definitely a game where you start on the front foot and then get your confidence and then it is how many are were going to get. That is the feeling I got.
“I think it is our best performance of the season, of course you can go back to the Chelsea game but today the reaction after they scored as well was fantastic and, sometimes this season, we have asked them when you get one or 2-0 up, to go for the next one.
“How we didn't end up with five, six or seven we don't know, the players don’t know, but it was exhilarating and entertaining and great to see that the boys enjoyed themselves.”
United’s starting XI was the youngest fielded by any club in the Premier League this season.
Solskjaer joked that playing 19-year-old Williams for the suspended 34-year-old Ashley Young helped with that stat but his main concern is that his side’s education is blooming.
“That [fielding the youngest side] is not an aim in itself but it just says a little bit about what we're doing,” said the manager. “They're performing, they are learning and had tough lessons. I feel like they have learnt from it.”
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