Tahith Chong in action against Wolves.

Chong out to reward Solskjaer's trust

Tahith Chong admits he received a boost when hearing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s praise of his performance in the Emirates FA Cup draw at Wolves.

The Reds welcome the Black Country side to Old Trafford on Wednesday for the replay, with the Netherlands Under-21 international hoping for another opportunity to play, after making a positive impression at Molineux.

Despite being forced off in the second half, after still feeling the ill effects of a late tackle by Max Kilman, he was able to express himself out on the right in his fourth start of the season.

Tahith Chong holds off Andreas Pereira in training.
Tahith Chong holds off Andreas Pereira at the Aon Training Complex.

“I thought Tahith was fantastic,” said Ole after the 0-0 draw. “He caused loads of problems for them.”

The 20-year-old was delighted to get the chance to show the manager what he is capable of. “It was funny, as, a day later, it was the one-year anniversary of my debut against Reading in the FA Cup. I was a bit surprised [to start] but, the manager is showing his trust in young players and it is really good to see that.

“He just said go out and play your game and to enjoy it. When you get the ball, try to beat them one-versus-one.

“The manager has showed, and is still showing, he has a great deal of trust in us as players and we’re trying to do our best for him. Hearing his words after the game was a really good feeling. I just want to progress more and more. It was another little taste [of first-team football] and I want to keep working harder and harder to get these chances again.”

Chong believes the first game was a very close affair, with openings for both sides. Marcus Rashford hit the bar, Juan Mata's free-kick sailed inches wide and Brandon Williams was denied a strong penalty shout after a tangle with Leander Dendoncker. For the home side, Matt Doherty's effort was disallowed as his header glanced his hand, and Raul Jimenez struck the woodwork.

“I thought it was a 50-50 game really,” said Chong. “It could have gone either way. In the first half, we played well and kept possession but couldn’t really create many chances. The second half was more open and they got on top for a bit, so we had to defend well. But, chances-wise, it could have gone either way.

“I could see they were checking it [Doherty’s ‘goal’] with VAR and I was thinking: ‘Please let it be handball’. Luckily, it was and it was rightly ruled out.

“To be honest, I’ve still not seen a replay of it [the Williams incident] up to now. Personally, from my view, I thought it was a penalty, especially when they took it to VAR. I thought they were going to give it – but that’s just the way it goes sometimes.

“You expect a little bit of that [tough tackling, when he runs with the ball], especially when you try to beat players. You get one every once in a while, but it’s about standing up and going again. I was lucky I could play on for a bit, but the manager took me off afterwards. It was just a precaution really.”

The wide man says the Reds will be ready for the challenge of beating Wolves for the first time since they gained promotion back to the top flight in 2018.

“As United, we want to win every game and we’ll go to play with all we’ve got and prepare right for the game on Wednesday.”

Don't miss the full interview with Tahith Chong in United Review, the official matchday programme, available from the ground before the Wolves replay.

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