Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has defended his decision to bench Bruno Fernandes in Manchester United’s 3-1 FA Cup defeat at the hands of Leicester, insisting he is ‘not inhuman’ amid the hectic fixture schedule.
Kelechi Iheanacho’s brace, one of which was gifted to him by an errant back pass from Fred, and Youri Tielemans’ superb strike knocked the Red Devils out of the competition at the quarter-final stage away at the King Power Stadium on Sunday.
The Norwegian boss made five changes from the team that beat AC Milan in midweek and Fernandes was named as a substitute as Paul Pogba, Donny van de Beek and Nemanja Matic were among those drafted into the starting XI.
But with Solskjaer’s side already 2-1 down when the Portugal international came on in the 64th minute, he was unable to change the course of the game.
With the matches coming thick and fast, Solskjaer insisted he had no regrets over his team selection.
‘Every team selection has reasons behind it,’ the Norwegian said in his post-match press conference.
Bruno has played very, very much football. He broke all his records on Thursday night [at the San Siro] physically statistically, and the boy is not inhuman.
‘He’s also a human being, he’s played a game every three or four days really.
‘I know Bruno wants to play but sometimes you make decisions for the benefit of both the team and him.‘
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‘I would have started the same team again,’ he added.
‘We picked a team that we felt would win the game or give us a foundation to win the game. We knew players like Donny and Paul wouldn’t last more than an hour-ish and we knew we had subs who could come on and make a difference if we needed them to.
‘That was the hope when we made the subs – that they could come on and give us that extra energy and brightness. We weren’t really as sharp as we have been lately. The accumulation of games, as I said, is a factor maybe and the freshness of Leicester, of course, has made them sharper than us today.’
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