Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has accused media outlets of blowing a comment he made out of proportion after suggesting Marcus Rashford should “maybe prioritise his football” over his activism off the pitch.
Speaking before Manchester United’s 4-2 defeat to Leicester on Saturday, the Norwegian said: “He’s learning. He’s getting more and more experience.
"He’s had time to reflect on what he’s done off the pitch as well, because he’s done some fantastic things, and now maybe prioritise his football and focus on football.”
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The Athletic claimed that Solskjaer’s comment had not gone down well with Rashford’s camp.
Speaking for the first time since making that comment, ahead of United’s Champions League Group F game against Atalanta on Tuesday while sitting alongside Rashford, Solskjaer insists the media's reaction to what he said has been over the top.
"Get the elephant out of the room straight away, you know the headline which came before the Leicester game,” he told reporters.
"We are so proud of what Marcus has done on and off the pitch. You made headline off one little comment."
Solskjaer has come under fierce pressure after United’s winless run stretched to three matches following Saturday's heavy defeat to Leicester, but the Norwegian insists his expensively assembled team have progressed under his leadership since he took over in December 2018.
"We've progressed over the years,” he said. “Sixth in half season, third, second. You can see the progress.
"We have signed players which have raised expectations but we are in same boat as other top teams. Pressure on me of course but we have been through this before.
"I am in dialogue with club all the time, it is an open and honest discussion.
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“We need to go back to basics, we've had a conversation as a team as we would anyway. Winning the next game is always the aim.
“Every team will go through a patchy period, we are in one now, we know that.
"The coaching staff we have got is absolutely amazing, the attention to detail, training sessions, preparations. I don't think I could ask for better.
"They are Manchester United people with intention of helping the team grow.”
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