Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hits back at Arsenal legend Ian Wright over Marcus Rashford injury criticism

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer shouts from the sidelines
Solskjaer hit back (Picture: Getty)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hit back at Ian Wright after the Arsenal legend blamed the Manchester United manager for Marcus Rashford’s injury setback.

Wright claimed Solskjaer had put his own needs above his player’s – a decision that has left Rashford out of action for up to three months after sustaining a double stress fracture in his back, with Solskjaer unable to guarantee he will play again this season.

‘Solskjaer’s under intense pressure to get United back where they were and he’s thought about himself before he thought about the player – Solskjaer has put himself above Marcus Rashford’s health,’ Wright told the BBC.

‘Now, one of their most promising and most important players is out and that has to come to the manager’s door. Rashford has started every game and for him to play that much football, with the problems he is having with his back, you can’t mess around with that and Solskjaer has to take some blame in still playing him.’

Solskjaer was unimpressed with Wright’s comments and claimed he has no idea what goes on behind the scenes at Old Trafford.

‘No, I never put myself before the team,’ Solskjaer said. ‘I always put the team and the club before anything else. What we’ve discussed before here with Marcus, he’s had minor discomfort in his back since the Burnley game. That’s maybe two weeks [actually three weeks] before this game.

‘We’ve had scans, we’ve monitored him. There’s not been any injury there. He’s had complaints, yeah. I had a discussion and conversation with him the day before or two days before: ‘FA Cup, I’m going to rest you’. He felt fine.

‘He was very, very adamant that if needed he could at least do half-an-hour because we want to go through in the Cup because it’s a big tournament for us. That just shows you Marcus’s attitude. That was the second day after we played Norwich.

‘He had an extra day of treatment and recovery inside because we wanted to give him all the chance to be ready for the coming games. That’s why we rested him. He had no complaints training the day before the game, he did really well. He looked very free and when I asked him if it was okay to be on the bench, no problem. He wanted to come on. It’s just one of those unfortunate things

‘You know we monitor and we take risks… not take risks. We have to manage players every single day, loads of things that Ian Wright or anyone doesn’t know about.’

Solskjaer added: ‘I left him on the bench hoping we would have enough to win the game without him. We wanted to go through in the FA Cup, we want to go as far as we can, we want to win it. Marcus – two days before – was adamant that if needed he had half-an-hour in him and he would want to come on and win us the game. It was part of winning the game.

‘That is what you do when you play for Man United. Every time you play you put your body on the line. I have suffered some injuries for the club. That is what we are proud to do when you are a Man United player because when you are on the pitch that is the one game that you want to try make sure that you win.

‘I don’t think he’s used [the bone healing machine] a lot. I don’t know. You’ve got to ask me, I cannot micro-manage every single player. Marcus is a guy and a player who wants to make sure he tries absolutely everything to maximise his career.

Manchester United attacker Marcus Rashford lies on the floor after injuring himself
Rashford is out for up to three months (Picture: Getty)

‘It’s probably something he’s initiated here with the medical staff here as well, to make sure he is healing as quick as he has always done. He’s had issues before with his back and he’s always played with them. He’s never complained really.

‘The medical staff here, they are very, very good. This one is just one of those unfortunate things. Marcus is going to get as long as he needs to get fit. We are not going to risk him when he has had an injury I have got the best medical staff in the country and I am sure when Marcus comes back he will be 100 per cent fit.’

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