Soccer

Solskjaer admits he told Alex Ferguson a few fibs over his fitness

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits he used to play down his fitness worries to Sir Alex Ferguson to make the Man United squad after Marcus Rashford played with a sore foot and scored in Europa League win over Granada

  • Manchester United beat Granada 2-0 in their Europa League quarter-final
  • Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes goals gave them healthy first leg lead
  • Rashford played the game despite struggling with a sore foot and made impact
  • Boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he used to do likewise during his playing days
  • Ex-United striker said he would play down injury worries to Sir Alex Ferguson
  • He expects Rashford to be fully fit for Sunday’s away game at Tottenham 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confessed he used to tell Sir Alex Ferguson the odd white lie about how fit he was in order to make Manchester United’s matchday squad.

The current United boss was talking about Marcus Rashford’s fitness after Thursday night’s UEFA Europa League quarter-final win over Granada when he recalled his own experiences as a player.

Rashford played with a sore foot and scored as United secured a 2-0 lead to take back to Old Trafford next week.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted he did sometimes tell Sir Alex Ferguson white lies about his fitness levels to ensure a place in the Manchester United squad

It came after Marcus Rashford played while not fully fit to score in United’s 2-0 win over Granada in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday evening

Solskjaer was also able to sub the forward off for Edinson Cavani after 66 minutes and preserve his fitness for Sunday’s visit to Tottenham Hotspur.

And Solskjaer said: ‘Marcus, fantastic goal. Great pass by Victor [Lindelof], great run and the skill to bring the ball down like this, we’ve seen it a few times before, and it’s a top, top quality goal.

‘It’s the same thing as before, he’s not recovered from it. Hopefully, it’s not got any worse from this.

‘He lasted 60 or 70 [minutes] against Brighton, 65 now, so hopefully he’s ready. I think he should be ready for Sunday.’

Solskjaer made the point that a footballer feeling 100 per cent fit is a ‘rare’ occurrence 

Solskjaer was satisfied after United beat Granada 2-0 in the first leg of their last eight tie

Asked if he ever told Ferguson he was fit even when he wasn’t, Solskjaer added: ‘Yeah, I probably did! I did a few times.

‘It’s not like I couldn’t perform, but I probably knew I wasn’t at 100 per cent. But when are you at 100 per cent as a footballer? I think that’s very rare.

‘Marcus, we know he’s someone we have to protect, but he was ready and he was vital for us today.’

Rashford opened the scoring with a well-taken finish from Lindelof’s ball over the top on 31 minutes and United took an even stronger position in the tie when Bruno Fernandes converted a stoppage time penalty.

Rashford runs away to celebrate after scoring United’s opening goal against Granada

‘It was an important goal, the second one there because 1-0 lead losing three players is not a good position to be in,’ Solskjaer said.

‘I don’t think we deserved those five yellow cards but that’s happened. Delighted with the result. 

‘We gladly take the second goal. Of course it’s so vital away from home and we’ve created a good starting point for next week’s game for ourselves.’




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