Manchester United are set to battle it out in the Europa League quarter-finals when they face-off against Danish outfit FC Copenhagen. The Reds will be desperate to go all the way and lift the competition’s trophy for the second time in just three years as manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer issues a cutthroat warning to ensure his players put the team’s best interests above their own.
Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s pivotal match, as quoted by Manchester Evening News, Solskjaer has addressed suspicions that forwards Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial are competing against one another in the goals department by saying: “There’s no battle between them,” he told reporters. “You see how Anthony and Marcus play together — they are always willing to give each other the gift of an open goal.
“For me, there can never be a battle between players within a team. We have one common cause: to win.”
Rashford and Martial have 45 goals between them so far this season with the Frenchman fairing slightly better on 23, however, despite the good-feeling among the United strikers, there appears to be concerns among the mainstream media that the pair’s competitive nature could prove detrimental to the squad.
Rashford took to his official social media earlier this week to say: “Tony wins, I win, we all win. That’s my guy.” This was in light of the duo both making the Premier League’s young player of the year award shortlist.
Tony wins, I win, we all win. That’s my guy 👊🏾
— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) August 8, 2020
However, in an attempt to reiterate his high demands for his young Reds, Solskjaer went onto issue a stark reminder that the team should always be the priority and has warned of severe consequences should he suspect any player is putting personal achievements first by saying: “If I ever sense players playing for themselves, their own accolades and personal awards, I won’t have them in the team. It’s simple.
“I don’t want egos. It can’t be about one player thinking he is going to score more goals than someone else. If you win as a team, it doesn’t matter if you have scored 15 goals or 30. It only matters that you have contributed.
“Ruud van Nistelrooy was very focused on his goals. He’d come off miserable after a 4-0 win if he hadn’t scored. But he was a team player. You never saw Ruud take a shot when he should have passed.”
Some tough talk from the Norwegian. It almost sounds like he learnt the tricks of the trade from playing under Sir Alex Ferguson.