Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confessed that his decision to bring on Marcus Rashford in Wednesday's 1-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers backfired after the forward was forced off with an injury.
With the score still 0-0 shortly after the hour mark, Solskjaer opted to introduce Rashford to the fray, but he managed just 14 minutes before being forced with what appeared to be a back injury.
“He’s had trouble with the back lately but that is a different matter,” he said. “Now we have got a different one. I don’t think it is related but he had to come off. I can say we will do everything we can to see and try to get him fit for Sunday but I can’t promise. We will manage."
In his post-match press conference, the boss defended his decision to bring Rashford on as he was looking for a way to score.
Never want to feel like I’ve let my teammates, the club and most importantly the fans down so did my very best to carry on tonight and was gutted to come off.— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) January 15, 2020
Top work from the lads to get into the next round pic.twitter.com/ZLpxiqhtq3
“I didn't want to play him, but we needed the win. It has backfired," he admitted. "I can say we'll do everything we can to get him fit. He's been available and fit this season. He's a quick healer. He's struggled lately but more when he's tired.”
During Rashford's time on the pitch, Juan Mata managed to open the scoring and fire United to a 1-0 win, earning them a meeting with either Watford or Tranmere, who are yet to play their third-round replay after the game was postponed.
However, before they can even think about that, the Red Devils must prepare themselves for a trip to Anfield on Sunday, where they will meet Jürgen Klopp's unbeaten Liverpool side, and they may have to do so without Rashford.
The Englishman has managed 19 goals in all competitions and is United's top scorer by far, but Solskjaer may have to find a way to cope without him.