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‘Don’t disrespect the players, they play for Man United’ – Solskjaer on his team's commitment as he defends Ronaldo

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hugs Cristiano Ronaldo after the clash against Atalanta. Photo: AP

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hugs Cristiano Ronaldo after the clash against Atalanta. Photo: AP

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hugs Cristiano Ronaldo after the clash against Atalanta. Photo: AP

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer asked for his Manchester United players to be ‘respected’ for playing for the badge - rather than his own job security.

The Red Devils came back from two goals down to claim a vital win against Atalanta in the Champions League on Wednesday night. The Old Trafford turnaround came after growing pressure on manager Solskjaer.

“Don’t even start,” replied the Norwegian to BT Sport after being asked about the players showing their commitment to him as a manager.

“Don’t disrespect the players, they play for Man United - they know they’re the luckiest men in the world.

“I said that to them, tonight they’re the luckiest men in the world because they’re the ones that can play for Man United. That’s what so many millions of boys and girls want to do.”

Cristiano Ronaldo popped up with the vital header to match his heroics in hitting the winner against Villarreal last month, capping a performance which Solskjaer felt answered his critics.

The boss added: “He’s great in front of goal, if anyone wants to criticise him for work-rate and attitude, just watch this game. Watch how he runs around.”

Atalanta led 2-0 at half-time to draw boos around Old Trafford for the labouring United stars - but Solskjaer kept the faith.

The 48-year-old remarked: “I thought we played well first-half - just two chances, two goals. We have to stop that if we are to survive past [age] 50.

“We’ve got a habit of [comebacks] at this club. Out of nothing, they scored the first goal. Then another set-play, another goal. But we never stopped believing, never stopped going.

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“We made a few mistakes but kept going.”

© Evening Standard


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