Manchester United caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is assessing his options ahead of naming his first squad, in advance of Saturday’s teatime encounter with his former club Cardiff City.
The Old Trafford legend has already stressed that he will give a number of players the chance to impress over the busy upcoming festive period, as he aims to begin his latest spell at the club with three points in Wales.
Romelu Lukaku has been absent from training this week and Alexis Sanchez is still unavailable. Chris Smalling pulled out of the Liverpool game in the warm-up, with Eric Bailly drafted in, while Luke Shaw and Phil Jones have been out of action recently. Diogo Dalot, Victor Lindelof and Anthony Martial all returned from injury for the clash at Anfield.
“Romelu has had a couple of days off, so I’ve not seen him yet,” said Solskjaer. “That was decided before [I arrived], so that’s fine. I’ve not seen Alexis, because he’s on his way back as well.”
Ole has hinted coaches Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna will have an influence on which XI he selects for the 17:30 GMT kick-off at the Cardiff City Stadium.
“Of course, it’s Michael and Kieran who have been here for the whole season,” he explained. “They’ve had their say and input, but there are so many games in the next 10, 15 days, so it’s about picking a team that you think is going to get results.
“We need results but, then again, every player needs to know that they’re probably going to get their chance in this period, because that’s just the nature of the game over here in England, that we have to rotate.
”Kieran and Michael have been great, I have to say. It’s great being back home and seeing the development already, because I played with Michael, how good a coach and man-manager he is already, so it’s been really helpful.“
“The job now is to get to know the players, observe them, see the qualities that we’ve got,” he added. “Of course, I’ve seen more or less every game from Norway when I’ve had time from the other job [as Molde boss]. But, to get to know the players and think about what I can do to improve them, that’s my job.”