Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Ole's praise for three players at Villa Park

Manchester United's only pre-season game ahead of the 2020/21 campaign still gave Ole Gunnar Solskjaer plenty to think about, and talk about in his post-match interview.

Speaking after Saturday's 1-0 away defeat to Aston Villa, a game that can be viewed in full on MUTV.com, the Norwegian named several players who had impressed him - none of whom were in his first-team plans last season.

New signing Donny van de Beek, goalkeeper Dean Henderson and young defender Teden Mengi were the trio who merited the manager's praise, and he also had words of encouragement for Academy midfielder Ethan Galbraith.

Scroll down to read what Ole said about them, the game overall and how his squad might be stronger for next Saturday, when the real action begins with an opening Premier League fixture against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford.

Ole's verdict on the Villa gameVideo

OVERALL THOUGHTS

“In the first half I thought we played some good stuff and created chances. The most important thing is valuable minutes because this pre-season is such a strange and different one for us. We've had two weeks back and it's only one week now until we start the league. Of course, the Europa League will help us in that respect because the players who have played in that over the summer don't really need that much, and some of the international games. But you could clearly see that some of them need minutes.”


LACK OF SHARPNESS IN ATTACK

“We said at half-time that we were playing some great football at times and getting into some fantastic positions, but there was a lack of sharpness and maybe a lack of lungs because it's early doors. But we need to be more clinical, we need to score those goals because then you go home happy. Then again, the result wasn't the main thing.”

 
PLUS POINTS

“There were some positives as well, some good positives like individual performances - I thought Deano showed his authority back there and he played like a proper Man United goalkeeper. And especially in the second half, you saw Teden when he came on, how exciting a prospect he is.”


VAN DE BEEK'S FIRST GAME

“Donny was maybe the biggest plus in the outfield. He's such a finder of space and he creates time for himself with his timing and movement. I was very happy with his performance.”

VALUABLE GAME-TIME FOR YOUNG PLAYERS

“They'll learn from it of course. Young Ethan Galbraith has been with us in the summer, in the Europa League, he's been training with us and then he gets minutes today and you could see he's got less time [on the ball]. I spoke to him after the game and he knows a couple of times he gets caught on the ball but that's the learning he needs. That's going to make him, next time he's on the pitch, be ready for it.”


STRONGER SQUAD FOR NEXT SATURDAY

“We expect more of them to be match fit [by then]. The international players who didn't travel today have had the minutes they needed, some of them, and we'll get a few more back.”


Get ready for the new season. Our 2020/21 home, away and third kits are available now from United Direct.

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