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Solskjaer poised for comeback

February 10, 2004 20:18 IST

Forward Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, out for five months with a knee injury, has been included in Manchester United's squad for the game against Middlesbrough on Wednesday.

Solskjaer played for the reserves last week.

"Ole is further on in his training than he was on Saturday, so he is part of the squad," United's assistant-manager Mike Phelan told a news conference on Tuesday. "He is in there, he is fit so it will be up to the manager to make the decisions."

The Norwegian international, however, may have to settle for a right-sided role following the arrival of striker Louis Saha, who has scored three goals in his first two games.

"He (Saha) has started very well, but it is not as if we have brought in a player from overseas," said Phelan.

"We have brought in a player who has played regularly at his last club. He understands the demands of the league."

United's biggest concerns though are defensive ones, with the side conceding five goals in their last two games.

"It is important all the players realise we have to defend better and that is what we will be doing," he added.

"The players understand it is not just about being free flowing. You have to deal with the other side, which is set pieces and defending.

"It is something we have looked at and talked about."

Phelan said the club were still waiting to hear whether the Football Association would take action over allegations their players swore or made offensive gestures to Everton supporters after they had scored their winning goal in the 4-3 victory at Goodison Park last Saturday.

"Football is an emotive game. The bench was up and down like a yo-yo so for players to get carried away is only natural," said Phelan.

"They celebrate a goal. We will see what the outcome is."

Pete Oliver
Source:
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