Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes his side are finally up to speed and are ready to get their season going after Saturday’s 4-1 win over Newcastle United.
Having lost two of their three league games thus far, United were under pressure to perform against Newcastle, and despite falling behind to a Luke Shaw own goal early on, the team roared back to pick up a comfortable 4-1 win.
Solskjaer has publicly bemoaned United’s short pre-season already, claiming United needed extra time to get back to their best, and he told Sky Sports after the game that his side have finally reached the required fitness level.
“We don’t want to use it as an excuse, but we needed pre-season,” the boss said. “We wanted to get to this international break with more points than we have, but now we know our season started today, because we’ve come up to the speed of the game and I think that showed.
“The boys have come together really well; they know we’ve got a tough and difficult month ahead of us and they are looking forward to every single game. I rested a few today but they came on and made a difference for us.”
Unsurprisingly, the focus soon turned to United captain Harry Maguire. The England international has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons recently but earned himself plenty of praise against Newcastle for heading United level and putting in an impressive showing at the back.
“I thought he was excellent,” Solskjaer added. “He scored a goal and led by example. [He did some] great defending. When we’ve got the ball, he’s so calm and we can control it with him. And he had some great chances [to score more goals] as well.
“He’s always a good character around the place and I’m very happy for him because he’s had a couple of tough weeks since his last game for us.
“We showed great resilience, great character to come back, handled the setback really well and we were led by an inspirational captain.”