Solskjaer explains decision to leave out Lingard and Pereira against Watford

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Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said that he opted to leave both Jesse Lingard and Andreas Pereira out of his team to face Watford because he needed to manage his attacking options.

The duo both started in United’s 1-1 draw away against Club Brugge in the last 32 of the Europa League, though they did not even make the bench for Sunday’s Premier League clash with the likes of Tahith Chong and Odion Ighalo preferred.

Both Lingard and Pereira have come in for criticisms over their performances this season.

Asked about Pereira and Lingard’s absences, the Norwegian told MUTV: “We’ve picked a squad of 18 that we felt it was the right 18 here.

“We’ve got cover on the bench for wide-men, forwards, midfielders and defenders so that was a decision I made.”

On the changes to his squad and Mason Greenwood’s quick recovery, he told the Premier League:

“Yeah, Mason stayed home, he didn’t travel to Brugge, but he feels okay today.

“Victor [Lindelof] has recovered. Eric [Bailly] played really well down at Chelsea but we need to manage him properly and then give him time to recover in between. But that’s a big plus for us having Eric back.’

On Scott McTominay’s injury return, he added:

“It says everything about him [McTominay] that he played a full half [vs Newcastle on Boxing Day] with a torn ligament — he’s recovered really quickly.

“He’s been doing everything he can to get back. He looks stronger, fitter. He wanted to play today but we need to manage him properly as well.”