Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was asked about the impact of COVID-19 on his squad after Facundo Pellistri tested positive this week, ahead of Manchester United’s FA Cup third round tie against Watford.
This weekend’s fixture probably would have been awarded his first-team debut after featuring with the U23s since joining the club from Penarol.
As quoted by the Manchester Evening News, Solskjaer said: “Well, I think we’ve done well to follow the protocols as we have, we’ve had the odd case and Facundo Pellistri got a positive test, so he reported that on his Twitter.
“We don’t normally comment on who they are but Facundo is well and hopefully he’ll be back with us soon, he’s been with the reserves and 23s and wasn’t really in our group over Xmas. Apart from that, we have a full and fit squad.”
Although we’ve yet to see Pellistri playing in the first-team, it comes as a blow for not only the player but fans who are eagerly anticipating his debut.
We’ve been crying out for a class right-winger for some time and it may be too early for Pellistri, but an FA Cup clash against a Championship side would’ve given Solskjaer an opportunity to play the Uruguayan had he not tested positive for coronavirus.
Speaking of blows, Solskjaer was also asked about the midweek defeat to rivals Man City in the Carabao Cup semi-finals.
He added: “The reaction has been as expected, you’re disappointed when you go out, always are, wanted to go one step further but have shown many times this season we can bounced back after disappointments, did it after defeat to Arsenal, after Tottenham, after going out of Champions League, boys have reacted well.
“We go into the next game wanting to win this, we enter this competition wanting to win, there are a few players that had a few knocks, there’ll be a few changes but we’ll still field a team I’m confident in.”
Solskjaer has made it clear that he wants his side to win the FA Cup this season and he knows he will need a trophy or else pressure is bound to build. He’s right that the players have shown they can react to knock-backs, and that is exactly what our semi-final defeat was after turning our season around, especially in the Premier League.