Solskjaer doubles down with Lingard promise, but saves own skin over contract anger

Solskjaer doubles down with Lingard promise, but saves own skin over contract anger

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has extended the olive branch to Jesse Lingard after the winger’s anger at his Manchester United situation surfaced on Thursday.

A remarkable report from the Telegraph on Thursday revealed news of Lingard’s dismay at his current situation. Lingard has been afforded a paltry 154 minutes of action across all competitions. 72 minutes of that came in the EFL Cup as Solskjaer rotated his squad.

That was despite Solskjaer promising him a greater role in pre-season after his stellar loan spell with West Ham last year reminded everyone what he is capable of.

His lack of game-time, combined with unhappiness over a lowball contract offer and specific squad selections has left the 28-year-old mulling his future. Indeed, the report suggested he could take matters into his own hands and request a January exit.

Now, speaking in his Friday press conference (via the Manchester Evening News), Solskjaer addressed the brewing situation.

While he distanced himself from Lingard’s contract complaints, he did double down on his promise to increase his minutes on the pitch.

“Jesse is training really hard, really well and he’s ready and available for me,” said Solskjaer. “[Lingard is] disappointed he’s not playing more.

“In regards to contract situations and talks, I’ve not been in them very closely. For me, Jesse is still a big part of this squad and important and he gives quality to the group every day.

“Every player wants to play as much as possible, with Jesse and all my players.

“They’re working really hard, I can’t fault the attitude when they’re called upon. Jesse has done well when he’s played for us and with the games coming up he’s going to play a part.”

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Two confirmed out as Solskjaer talks Watford

United take on Watford at 3pm on Saturday in their first chance to rectify their woeful 2-0 defeat to Manchester City 13 days ago.

Solskjaer confirmed United will be without two major names in Paul Pogba and Raphael Varane for the contest. Pogba will serve the final match of his suspension, while Varane has a hamstring injury.

Nonetheless, the Norwegian claimed those that play should “enjoy” the chance to rectify their wrongs against the Hornets.

“Of course, we know that with a poor run of form we put ourselves under pressure.,” said Solskjaer. “That pressure should be a joy. It should make us a better team, make players perform at the best level and it’s a game to go into and enjoy.

“I don’t know how many games we’ve had away from home. We lost to Leicester, but the unbeaten record before that is something we need to draw confidence from. Watford is a very big game, as every game in Premier League is.”

“This week has been really positive, there are a couple of doubts with illnesses and small niggles.

“Paul is out for a while, Rapha [Varane] is out for a while. Apart from that players will be coming back in the near future, some this weekend, some in the week, but that’s the same for other players.”

READ MORE: Solskjaer defiant in Man Utd sack admission; states issues have been addressed

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