Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revealed he made a couple of key tactical changes to fire Manchester United into life against Newcastle.
The United boss slammed his side’s first-half performance, as the hosts were lucky to be level at 1-1 against Steve Bruce’s men at Old Trafford. Marcus Rashford’s opportunistic opener was cancelled out by an Allan Saint-Maximin half-volley.
Solskjaer admitted he moved some United players into more attacking positions and instructed his players to up the tempo after the break, as he revealed to MUTV after the game.
“Maybe we were a little bit lethargic, the zip wasn’t there,” he said on the first half performance, suggesting the trip back from Turin — where United played Real Sociedad in midweek — had an affect.
“It’s never easy to get going after a Thursday night and we took until half time.
“We had to be honest,” he said when asked what his half-time message was. “A couple of little things we did, moved up a couple of players higher as we felt there were some spaces we didn’t use, because the ball also didn’t travel quick enough. So quicker passing, more movement and scored a goal — and DJ (James) did.”
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Manchester United made heavy weather of their 3-1 win over Newcastle in the Premier League, eventually getting the job done at Old Trafford.
Marcus Rashford, Daniel James and Bruno Fernandes were on the scoresheet as United got back to winning ways in the league. They face Real Sociedad on Thursday, after hammering the Spanish side 4-0 in their Europa League first leg.
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Speaking to BT Sport, Solskjaer added to his comments, saying he thought United found the space much better in the second half against Newcastle.
He said: “We had to up the tempo a little bit, especially in the last third and I felt we managed to do that. It is always difficult to get going after an away game in Europe.
“Even though we dominated possession and had a lot of the ball we couldn’t create many opportunities. I felt in the second half we found our positions better.”