James: I'm giving Ole a headache he won't mind
Daniel James wants to continue to give Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a ‘headache’ when it comes to selecting the attacking part of hjs Manchester United line-up.
The Wales international made his eighth start of the season, against Real Sociedad in Turin on Thursday, and went on to complete the full 90 minutes for the first time since the 6-2 win over Leeds prior to Christmas.
James made sure his manager’s decision to play him from the off was vindicated, slotting home a late breakaway goal and playing a key part in Bruno Fernandes’s second, as the Basque outfit were put to the sword at Allianz Stadium.
After the final whistle, Solskjaer praised Daniel’s ‘X-factor’ and said he was always in his plans, and it’s clear that message has rubbed off on our no.21, who has already matched his first-season goal tally in a quarter of the games.
The Europa League performance has now left Solskjaer with a decision to make before this evening's meeting with Newcastle, with Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial, James and – if fit – Edinson Cavani all competing for just three places, not to mention new boy Amad.
That’s something the manager will welcome, though, according to James.
“All of us forward players have got to give him a headache with his decisions, and I think that’s what he wants as well,” the winger told club media on Friday.
“He always says he wants that and when I play, I just give my best.
Every Action: James v Real SociedadVideo
James performed well in the reverse fixture against the Magpies at St James’ Park and his pace and direct style of play could come in handy, with the visitors tending to play in the style of a low block that the Reds have found difficult to break down in recent weeks.
Whatever Ole decides, James is just determined to keep working and learning, in preparation for whenever he is called upon.
“I haven’t played much recently but I’ve just been working hard on the training ground, doing the same things that I do all the time,” he continued.
“I know the gaffer believes in me and trusts me when I play, so it’s just, as you said, taking all that stuff from training and what you’ve learned into a game.
“I think I’ll always be ready and I’m proud to play every time I put on the shirt. It’s great.”