Solskjaer backs Rashford and makes Man Utd penalty claim
Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has faith that Marcus Rashford will “put his hand up” and step forward for penalties in the future after England’s shoot-out defeat to Italy in the Euro 2020 final.
The Man Utd forward was one of three players to fail to score in the shoot-out alongside Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka. All three have since suffered racist abuse on social media.
The 23-year-old, whose mural in Withington was defaced after his penalty miss before being covered in supportive notes, vowed that he ‘will never apologise’ for who he is on Monday.
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And Solskjaer has backed Rashford to “come back stronger” following his penalty miss.
Solskjaer told United’s official website: “You know the thing is when you step up to take a penalty, I think you’ve already won. You’ve taken on the responsibility and I’m sure many of the players are hoping I don’t want to take a penalty.
“So I think it’s a great character trait to step up and say I will deal with it, [and] the consequences. You might be the hero or the one who misses. That’s football.
“You learn from it and definitely come back stronger. I’ve not seen many people, at this club anyway, who lay down and say I’ll not take a penalty anymore.
“I know Marcus is going to put his hand up and say he wants to take one for us.”
England’s loss to Italy at Wembley on Sunday evening further extended their 55 years of hurt after reaching their first major tournament final since 1966.
Solskjaer added: “Obviously, we know the feeling the whole of England had after the game. One kick decides the whole mood. An even game, maybe Italy bossed possession a little bit, of course, but when it comes to penalty shoot-outs, anything can happen, as we know from our own last game.
“It’s hard on the boys but that’s football sometimes. You just have to deal with it and move on. I know the whole atmosphere in the country has been so great and, of course, it’s an anti-climax. I know that.”
Man Utd left-back Luke Shaw opened the scoring for England after only a couple of minutes and Solskjaer was impressed by his strike.
Solskjaer continued: “I’m so happy for Luke. I was watching it and ‘what’s just happened?’ He started the attack and we’ve encouraged him to get into the last third.
“We know how technically gifted he is and skilful he is and he hit the ball very, very sweetly. He keeps his eye on the ball, straight laces and its margins again – off the post and in, not off the post and out. That’s football for you. Luke deserves all the luck he can get. He’s had a tremendous couple of years with us.”
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