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Why Man United players can’t ‘fake’ their way into Solskjaer’s team

United enter 2021 on a high despite their Champions League exit, sitting three points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool with a game in hand over the champions.

A title challenge is looking more likely with every passing win, with a last-gasp 1-0 victory over Wolves ensuring United have won seven of their last nine League games.

However, Solskjaer – who developed a reputation as a valuable super sub during his playing career at United – says he has no time for players who are not going to contribute when given a chance.

“I think we have competition for places, which means you cannot go around and think that you can just fake your way to being part of this team because you only deserve to be in a team that you contributed (to),” he told reporters on New Year’s Eve.

“I think everyone’s just realised that we’re privileged to be part of Man United, such a fantastic club with a fantastic history.

“When you’re here, enjoy it as much as you can and maybe you’ll experience some fantastic times.

“You’ve got winners like Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic. They don’t play every single game but they’re so influential in the group and in the build-up to games and during games when they’re not playing.”

Regarding his selection policy, Solskjaer – who scored four goals against Everton in 1999 only to then be benched by Sir Alex Ferguson in United’s next match – said: “It’s horses for courses. Some players you feel are more suitable for some teams but, of course, you do plan ahead.

“I remember those four goals and I remember also the times that you feel you deserve to play and you’re left out. That’s part of being at Man United.

Solskjaer tips Edinson Cavani to keep performing for years to come

“You have top players everywhere and we know that throughout the season if you’re going to win something you have to contribute.

“Like (against Wolves), Anthony came on and did really well for half an hour. Luke came on and did really well.

“That’s just the way it’s going to be. Players will have to be angry with me until the next time they play because, believe you me, they’re not happy when I tell them they’re starting on the bench.”

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