Man Utd boss Solskjaer admits he is concerned about the mental health of players

The Manchester United boss also revealed he is eager to rest star midfielder Bruno Fernandes

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has spoken out for more match teams as he believes isolation is taking a mental toll on the uninvolved.

Solskjaer prepares his squad for a meeting with Istanbul Basaksehir in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday.

Not only will he be able to make five substitutes, which will reduce the chances of players getting tired, but he will also be able to select a larger matchday squad than is allowed in the Premier League.

When United traveled to Istanbul earlier in November, Solskjaer had 12 players on the bench in the 2-1 defeat.

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The expanded matchday teams allowed in Europe give managers more options from a tactical standpoint, but Solskjaer believes there is an immaterial advantage in the fact that the players benefit mentally from involvement rather than being at home alone.

“So I like the five subs, I also like the size of the squads because the players feel involved, especially during lockdown,” said Solskjaer. “Sometimes you have to stay when you are told you are not in the squad. At home and you cannot go to your friend or see the game with a friend.

“That’s another mental well-being that we have to take care of with the players, so Champions League, I like it.”

United occupies first place in Champions League Group H ahead of Tuesday’s game, but their position is not secure after the shocking loss in Turkey on November 4.

Solskjaer doesn’t have the luxury of being able to rotate his squad, but he has admitted that he wants to blow out midfielder Bruno Fernandes at some point.

The Portuguese plays a crucial role in United’s game, but the Red Devils are entering a period of 11 games before the turn of the year and Solskjaer wants to give his star player a rest.

“Bruno will not be able to play every game, that’s for sure,” said Solskjaer. “So when he only played a game and a half with Portugal during the international break, I was very happy.”

After the game with Basaksehir, United travels to Southampton and that could be a game that Fernandes is watching, because immediately after that game there is a clash with Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.

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