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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

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Read Ole’s pre-West Ham press conference in full

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90 in 20: United 3 Liverpool 2Video

Mason had a good game tonight and showed a lot of maturity. I just wondered what you made of his progress in recent weeks?

“Ah, Mason was different class. I thought he was the standout performer on the pitch – he just didn’t get the goal that his performance deserved. I think the last few games, if you look at him closely – yeah, I know we scored nine against Southampton – but if you look at his performance I thought his performance was top. He’s improved and matured immensely, and he’s working with some of the top forwards in the country, of course. He’s learning off them, and it’s exciting to see that he’s come over his blip and is playing really well.”

Dean’s had two excellent seasons with Sheffield United where he’s been playing regularly. How’s he found the transition this season, where he’s had to bide his time a little bit more? And how long do you think he is away from getting a regular run in the Premier League?

“Well, Dean has played well whenever he’s got the chance, and he’s matured. For me, he’s developed his game. I know he’s not played as many games as he would have done last season, but you see every game when he plays, and in training, his improvement. He’s working hard on a couple of aspects that we’ve spoken about with him. I’ve been impressed with his attitude and work-rate. Of course, he’s, how do you say, he’s not the most patient guy! He wants to play every game because he knows that he’ll perform well, so long may it continue, because he’s improved since he’s come here.”

Harry Maguire is obviously your captain and a very important player for you. But he’s played over 50 hours’ worth of football this season. Do you ever think about giving him a rest? Does he need rest? Or is he just one of these players who just ploughs on with it and gets through matches?

“Yeah, of course I think about if he needs a rest. If he physically can keep going and going. The nature of a centre-back position is a different position compared to full-backs and wide men or even centre midfielders, or any other position on the pitch. The centre-backs are the ones who are protected mostly from the real fatigue because you’re working less. Then again, he’s never injured, Harry. He’s never been really badly hurt, touch wood, and hopefully he’ll be able to carry on. But I’m not sure if he’ll play on Tuesday or not. I’ve not decided yet.”

Are you planning to rotate in this match? Will Eric Bailly be available, will Pogba be available? On another matter, I’m guessing you must be very happy with the way Jesse Lingard has started at West Ham? 

“Jesse has started really well. He’s gone down there, made a good first impression. He’s just got to knuckle down, work hard, keep his head down, keep improving his game. We know how good he is. Just get a regular run in the game, in the team, and then hopefully we can see the best of Jesse. With Paul and Eric, I’m not sure if they’re going to be fit. I think Eric is closer than Paul.”

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