Ole Gunnar Solskjaer personally reassured Luke Shaw after the Manchester United defender’s catastrophic role in Wolves’ FA Cup quarter-final winner.
Shaw carelessly ceded possession to spark the counter-attack which was finished by Diogo Jota, who effortlessly dribbled past the United left-back before he beat a porous Sergio Romero at his near post.
Onlookers told the MEN Solskjaer made a beeline for Shaw in the tunnel post-match and took the 23-year-old to one side and offer some supportive words. Shaw is said to have broken into a smile as Solskjaer spoke to him, despite United’s FA Cup ejection.
Shaw has experienced immense personal disappointment in the FA Cup, having missed the 2016 final victory over Crystal Palace with a broken leg and been omitted from the squad for last year’s Wembley loss against Chelsea. The only winner’s medal Shaw has collected in five seasons with United was the 2017 Europa League in Stockholm, where he watched on while on crutches.
Solskjaer reassured United supporters he was blunt with the underperforming players following their ‘worst performance’ of his reign at Molineux on Saturday night. United have lost their last two matches and only avoided dropping down to sixth in the Premier League after Chelsea were beaten by Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday. Solskjaer conceded the FA Cup elimination was a ‘big step backwards’.
“The truth,” Solskjaer said. “I told them, not you. But, of course, you can’t sit down and sulk too long. We’re disappointed, everybody is disappointed, but we’ve got to look forward and put behind the result today.
“We know we’ve played well against Arsenal last week didn’t get what we deserved. But today we got what we deserved because we never deserved to win this game.”
“We’re ready to go again after internationals,” Solskjaer replied when asked what his message would be to United fans. “Man United in April and May, always find our form, we can’t wait for the challenge for this and big nights like when Barcelona come, we’ve got so many highlights to look forward to.
“The players? Don’t worry about their attitude because when they come back again we’ll give it a good go.”
“It was a big step backwards. That’s the poorest performance since I came here, a lack of urgency forward, lack of forward passing, lack of regains, the international break sometimes come in handy and maybe now we would have loved to play again and and put it right.
“But hopefully some will have good experiences with the national teams, some will have a few days off, train hard here and get ready to push again.
“We’re in a great position in the league, got the Champions League, so very disappointing tonight we’re not in the semis.”