Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wanted to test Scott McTominay’s reaction to being appointed captain for the first time in his Manchester United career.
The Scotland international did really well in the middle and scored the game’s only goal at the very beginning — his fourth of the season.
At the age of 24 the academy graduate has become a key cog in the United side.
The manager insisted after United’s 1-0 win over Watford that McTominay is a natural leader.
“He’s got great character,” Solskjaer said, as per Manchester Evening News. “Good attitude, comes in every day, does the right things, lives his life properly, wants to be the best he can be, he’s not afraid to be vocal but always goes out there to give his best, never shirks a tackle, nothing.
“He’s got everything a leader has to have. I just wanted to test him today, how he reacted, cause he always does that anyway. I wanted to give him the armband and see if there was any change and I’m glad there wasn’t.”
The game also gave Solskjaer a chance to give Mason Greenwood some minutes on the pitch, but the young striker struggled up front alone against a decent Championship side. He was substituted for Anthony Martial in the second half.
Although his game time has been limited, Greenwood has managed only three goals this season but it’s hard at that age when you’re not playing regularly.
Explaining his selection up top, Solskjaer added: “We had a front four with Dan [James], Juan [Mata], Jesse [Lingard], with Mason in front of him. With the licence to chip and change a little bit, find positions.
“Mason’s a naturally floaty forward anyway, sometimes when you’re young, staying through the middle is a challenge, and he tried to get a touch on the ball and got wide. I felt he benefited from this game, Mason.”
More minutes on the pitch will do Greenwood the world of good.