Man United News and Notes: Solskjaer, Maguire, Williams

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Tonight saw Manchester United run their unbeaten streak to 18 games, but this match really felt like a loss. Up 2-1 on Southampton FC at home, Michael Obafemi found the equalizer off a corner, and Saints rescued a point from their trip to Old Trafford.

For United, the chance to move third in the table, with just three games left to play, was there for the taking, and only a minute or two away. Perhaps disappointment was inevitable when Red Devils left back Brandon Williams left the match with a head injury and reduced United to having to play with 10 men.

Now United sit fifth, even with Leicester City on points, but behind them on point differential. Chelsea is one point ahead of both teams.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was asked if seeing Chelsea and Leicester falter over the weekend, and thus the chance to vault up to third, might have caused the team to lose focus, and hence the critical two points dropped.

“I don’t think any of our players have been thinking what have Chelsea done this weekend,” the Norwegian responded.

“Not at all. It is just the way the games go. We all play against the same teams and we all have 38 games to go through. It will even itself out during a long season and you will deserve the position you get in the end.”

He also said that he’s not worried about the team suffering a severe drop in morale, and having this loss set off a downward spiral. It’s always tough to drop points, but dropping them in a manner such as this is especially gut-wrenching.

“I have to say the mentality of those boys has been absolutely brilliant,” Solskjaer said.

“We’ve had a few setbacks and this is another challenge for us. I’m very confident in the mentality of them.”

“Very disappointed, of course, but you have to take the disappointments as well as the positives when you win games. Disappointment because one of the last kicks of the ball you concede a goal and you lose two points, that’s just part of football.”

“We’ve learned a hard lesson today, hopefully. We will make it right and put it right. The boys, I trust them in that respect.”

Team captain and central defender Harry Maguire lamented the opportunity missed.

“Playing at Old Trafford you want to win every game you play for Manchester United,” the ex-Leicester man said.

“We go for three points. We didn’t get three. We’re disappointed at the moment but we know we’ve gotta dust ourselves down tomorrow. We’ve got some big games coming up and we’ve gotta go get three points.”

As for Williams, Solskjaer said the youngster is likely to receive stitches and he’ll be monitored ahead of United’s next match against Crystal Palace on Thursday. Beyond that the other two opponents for the Red Devils are West Ham United and Leicester City, in what looks like an absolutely huge clash in the final game.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly contributes to WGN TVSports IllustratedChicago Now and SB Nation.

You can follow Banks, a former writer for Chicago Tribune.comon Twitter and his cat on Instagram.

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  1. polycarp getuba says

    i think manchester united should put more efforts to take 6 points from westham and palace with more goals so as if they draw againaist leister maybe they can qualify into top 4

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