Solskjaer explains why he axed Jesse Lingard from Man Utd squad

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer raised eyebrows for his decision to drop Jesse Lingard from his matchday squad against Watford at the weekend.

The England international and team-mate Andreas Pereira both failed to even make the bench as the Red Devils beat the Hornets 3-0 at Old Trafford.

The pair had both featured at Club Brugge in the Europa League on Thursday night but the likes of Tahith Chong and Odion Ighalo were preferred on Sunday afternoon.

Despite much being made of Solskjaer's decision to snub the pair, who have come in for much criticism this season, the Norwegian insisted he made the call in order to simply manage the workload of his squad.

Asked about their absences, Solskjaer told MUTV: "We’ve picked a squad of 18 that we felt it was the right 18 here.

"We’ve got cover on the bench for wide-men, forwards, midfielders and defenders so that was a decision I made."

Amongst the options preferred by Solskjaer was Mason Greenwood, who missed Thursday's trip to Belgium but fired in a powerful third goal to put the game to bed.

Speaking about his inclusion and discussing changes to his squad, Solskjaer added: "Yeah, Mason stayed home, he didn’t travel to Brugge, but he feels okay today.

"Victor [Lindelof] has recovered. Eric [Bailly] played really well down at Chelsea but we need to manage him properly and then give him time to recover in between. But that’s a big plus for us having Eric back."

There was a further boost for United, which served as a blow to Pereira's chances of featuring, as Scott McTominay returned from injury to line-up on the bench.

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