Rio Ferdinand says Manchester United fringe players missed their chance to clinch a first-team starting spot in narrow win at Watford as Jesse Lingard, Donny van de Beek and Co fail to stand out in a lukewarm display against the Hornets
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made nine changes for Manchester United’s FA Cup draw
- Donny van de Beek and Jesse Lingard got rare starts against Watford
- But Rio Ferdinand thinks the fringe players missed their chance to impress
- The Red Devils overtook the Championship side with a 1-0 victory
Manchester United’s fringe players, Rio Ferdinand said, did not take the opportunity to impress Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The United boss made nine changes for the FA Cup third round game against Watford with Donny van de Beek and Jesse Lingard winning rare starts.
However, neither could score their authority over the game, with the game ending after Scott McTominay’s goal in the fifth minute. Ferdinand doubted that any of the players hoping to make their way into Solskjaer’s first team had done enough to claim a regular starting spot.
Rio Ferdinand (left) believes Manchester United’s fringe players missed their chance to impress Ole Gunnar Solskjaer against Watford
“Ole will be happy to be in the next, most important round,” the former United defender told BT Sport after the game.
“This game was about opportunities for marginal players. He’s not a fringe player, but McTominay was probably the only player to reach or exceed the level you expected.
“Perhaps a missed opportunity for those who are trying to find their way more regularly into the manager’s plans. But the most important thing was to qualify for the next round.
Donny van de Beek must have been patient for his opportunities since arriving last summer
Van de Beek has had to be patient since arriving with £ 40million from Ajax last summer. The midfielder has only started two Premier League games and seven more in other competitions.
Lingard was only making his third appearance of the season, with his other two games to come in the Carabao Cup. The 28-year-old has only been part of United’s Premier League squad on four occasions.
Daniel James and Mason Greenwood also started both but the forwards were replaced by Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial in the second half.
Bruno Fernandes was unnecessary as the club’s top scorer is resting well after playing almost every minute in the Premier League this season.
Solskjaer also looked to give Harry Maguire a rest, but the United skipper was called up just before half-time with Eric Bailly injured.
Daniel James and Mason Greenwood were replaced by Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial in the second half