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atalanta clash Under-fire United boss warns his players: ‘I’ve got no time for sulkers’

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Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Photo: Matthew Childs/Reuters

Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Photo: Matthew Childs/Reuters

Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Photo: Matthew Childs/Reuters

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has warned his Manchester United squad there will be no room for sulkers as they bid to turn round their season.

Paul Pogba and Jadon Sancho are among the high-profile names omitted in recent games after a dismal run culminating in a 5-0 capitulation against Liverpool which left Solskjaer fearing for his job.

He responded by switching to three at the back for Saturday’s 3-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur and the manager could keep faith with the 3-4-1-2 against Atalanta tonight as United bid to strengthen their grip on Champions League Group F.

Saturday’s change meant leaving out a glut of forwards, including Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard and Sancho, as Solskjaer placed his trust in Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani, who both scored.

And Solskjaer has urged his players to channel any frustration in the right way in the face of fierce competition for places, particularly up front.

“When you are at a place like this, you have so many players and we don’t have time for anyone to sulk and not give energy to the team,” he said. “If you are not in starting XI, you are there to support team-mates and when you come on you do your best. And if you don’t even come on, what’s the single most important thing you can do to help the team? And the attitude was spot on [against Spurs].

“No one is happy when they don’t play, but the squad morale is really good and has to be. The team has to come before any individual.

“I can’t fault the attitude and motivation. It also has to come from within.

Players will go through difficult spells when they are not playing, then their character is revealed and I’m pleased with most of mine.”

Owen Hargreaves claimed Rashford was “fuming” about being on the bench against Spurs and that was reflected in his celebration after coming on to score. But Rashford yesterday hit back at the former United midfielder by tweeting: “Fuming at the manager??! We won the game... that celebration was pure relief! It’s been a hard week.”

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Telegraph Media Group Limited [2021]


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