Scott McTominay warming up at Old Trafford

Solskjaer explains McTominay and Pogba's absence

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has explained why two key midfielders were absent from the matchday squad to face Burnley at Turf Moor and, after the game, offered more insight into their availability.

Neither Scott McTominay or Paul Pogba made the trip to east Lancashire, with Fred and Nemanja Matic confirmed as starting in the engine room for the Reds.

McTominay was replaced by Pogba at half-time during our 4-1 Boxing Day victory over Newcastle United at Old Trafford and is to undergo more checks to determine the extent of his knee problem.

“Yeah we’ve looked at him, but we haven’t done the full scan yet,” Ole told MUTV in his customary pre-match interview.

“Over the weekend, we’ll know more. It didn’t look good but we hope it’s going to heal quickly.”

Meanwhile, Pogba isn’t being risked after only recently returning from a foot issue which had kept him out for almost three months.

The France midfielder featured for 25 minutes at Watford last Sunday, and the full second half against Newcastle.

“Paul has played in two games now and been out for a while,” Solskjaer added.

“We didn’t feel it was right to bring him today.”

In his post-match press conference, the boss suggested Pogba had a reaction after his second-half showing against Newcastle but he will be assessed ahead of the midweek trip to Arsenal.

“He had 45 minutes but he’s been out for a while and he didn’t feel right,” said Ole. “He reacted to that one so we’ll just have to take our time and get him ready for next time. When you’ve been out for such a while, it’s always going to take time to be 100 per cent. He just needed another day probably of recovery.”

The news is not as positive on McTominay, who will miss the early part of 2020. It is anticipated the Scotland international could be sidelined for three or four weeks.

“I wouldn’t expect Scott to be back within a few weeks, no. Not the next couple of weeks, I don’t think we’ll see him. So it’ll be more than that. But he’s always proved before that give him three weeks and he’s back in two. I don’t know, if it’s three or four weeks. It might be something like this, but we’ve just got to find a way through it.’ 

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