Fred and Scott McTominay react to Marcus Rashford's free-kick at Chelsea

Solskjaer praises United midfield duo

Friday 01 November 2019 10:50

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Manchester United's central midfield partnership of Scott McTominay and Fred has been integral to our recent run of positive results.

The pair started together in four of United’s six matches in October, including the wins at Norwich and Chelsea, and the Norwegian has been impressed by their growing partnership.

“[McTominay] has been excellent and now him and Fred have a good relationship,” said the manager.

“They’re playing well together. They did it last season - there were quite a few games where they played well together when we had some injuries, like PSG and Arsenal.

“Now they’re working as a pair, but Scotty [in particular] has been excellent.”

Solskjaer feels McTominay is starting to show real leadership in midfield.

While Ashley Young wears the captain’s armband when he starts, several players have led the team out this season, including David De Gea, Axel Tuanzebe and Nemanja Matic.

Harry Maguire was skipper for our win at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, but Solskjaer hinted that McTominay could be an authority figure in the future as his influence on the team grows.

“Scott's a leader, he’s a Man United boy, he’s come through the ranks,” the Norwegian added.

“You can tell he used to be a striker with the goal he scored against Norwich on the half-turn and he’s developing into a very good midfielder.”

The Reds travel to face Bournemouth on Saturday hoping for a fourth consecutive victory on the road.

The manager said our upturn in results was down to a number of factors, including the return of players such as Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard following their spells out with injury.

“That’s football. Sometimes you get the luck of the dice, sometimes you don’t,” Solskjaer added.

“The game on Wednesday night was decided by an unbelievable strike from Marcus, obviously. In Belgrade, we defended really well, there was some great last-ditch defending. Norwich - I thought that was a good game.

Praise for Rashford, McTominay and Fred Video

Praise for Rashford, McTominay and Fred

The manager heaped praise on Marcus Rashford, Scott McTominay and Fred during his latest media briefing...

“The confidence is getting better. Getting players back from injury helps.

“In football it’s not very far from failure to success or the other way round.”

When asked for his verdict on the season so far, Solskjaer was optimistic, suggesting that he was gradually moulding the team into the shape he wanted.

“It’s hard to evaluate after just 10 league games and some cup games. We’ve suffered a bit from injuries.

“There have been some fine margins, I think we’ve played really well at times. We’ve developed a team spirit and an identity, with more aggression in the team.”

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