Ole delighted with Fred's development
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is delighted with the recent form of Brazil midfielder Fred.
For any new signing from abroad, it can take a while to adapt to the speed and rigours of English football, and since joining from Shakhtar Donetsk last summer, Fred has had to bide his time during his maiden campaign with the Reds.
Ole's post-match press conferenceVideo
However, Ole feels the 26-year-old has come through his early challenges in England and is becoming a crucial player in the United side.
“I have to say, he’s growing into his place and his position,” the boss said in his post-match press conference, following the West Ham win.
“It’s difficult to come to a new country. He’s had loads of difficulties with injuries, like niggles. Then when I came in, he didn’t come to Dubai with us because [his wife was having] a baby.
“So, now he’s growing into his position and I’ve been very pleased with his last few games. I think you can all see why we believe in him. He’s got such a great confidence and attitude. He loves to have the ball, he loves to smile.”
The Frenchman played a slighter deeper role against West Ham, but provided the two game-defining moments for the Reds when he twice netted from the spot.
The midfielder even changed his run-up on both occasions, as he confidently strode forward and smashed the ball beyond Lukasz Fabianski.
“As long as the ball goes in [I don’t care about the style],”said Ole.
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“It’s up to him, of course, but he’s practising penalties. He’s confident, he’s very strong, and I like that way of running up to the ball and smashing it in. The second one - the keeper went the right way and it still went in. It was a great penalty.”
After Saturday’s win, the manager's attention has already switched to the midweek Champions League clash against Barcelona, and he was asked if Alexis Sanchez could make a return to the Nou Camp on Tuesday.
“I think so,”said Ole.
“He was training again today so he will travel with us.”
“We know it’s going to be a difficult game,”the boss admitted.
“But, we have the experience of PSG when we beat them from being 2-0 down.
“Now we’re 1-0 down, but it will be a greater achievement if we manage it against Barcelona because of what they are. I think we’ll go there with the attitude of: ‘Why not have a go?’. But we have to be solid defensively. We can’t be as open as we were today [against West Ham].”
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