Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer singled out Scott McTominay for praise while also backing Paul Pogba after a damaging loss at Wolves.
The Red Devils suffered a shock 2-1 defeat at Molineux on Tuesday night, which has left them facing an uphill battle to finish in the Premier League’s top four come May.
McTominay gave the visitors the lead on the night with an excellent strike from outside the box, but a Diogo Jota effort and Chris Smalling own goal saw the home side emerge with all three points.
Ashley Young was sent off for a second yellow card midway through the second half and United were unable to recover, as Solskjaer suffered only his second league defeat since succeeding Jose Mourinho in December.
The Norwegian, who was named the club’s new permanent manager last week, praised McTominay for his display against Wolves post-match, insisting that the young starlet has the mentality and athleticism to be a regular in his starting XI.
“He’s never let us down,” Solskjaer said – as per the Daily Mail. “It was another fine performance. It won’t be hard to see him play many games for United.
“He has a great mentality, he’s very athletic and can play in different positions.
“Today was his best position but he can play the defensive midfield role easily as well. We’re very pleased with him.”
One man who didn’t impress, however, was under-fire star Paul Pogba, who produced yet another ineffectual performance from the middle of the park.
The French ace was unable to affect the game in any meaningful way as he extended his run of games without a goal to seven across all competitions.
Solskjaer was quick to defend Pogba though, stating that he is not falling below the standard of effort required at the club and that he is currently just a victim of bad luck.
“He could easily have had an assist after some great play with Romelu [Lukaku],” he added, as per The Mail.
“That’s just numbers and figures. Paul is working as hard as any player in the team — some days it just doesn’t come off.”
The Red Devils are still fifth in the table after their latest result, but they have now played a game more than top-four rivals Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal.
Next up for Solskjaer’s men is a huge Champions League quarterfinal first leg against Barcelona on April 10 and winning the competition could now represent their best chance of qualifying for next year’s edition.