Manchester United match winners Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford credited the influence of caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after their 2-0 Premier League victory over Newcastle United.
The game remained goalless until Lukaku’s introduction, and the Belgium striker prodded home with his first touch after Martin Dubravka spilled Rashford’s 64th-minute free kick.
England forward Rashford then crowned a man-of-the-match display by converting a crisp counter-attack 10 minutes from time.
The result means Solskjaer’s four wins from four at the helm equals the best start to a United managerial tenure – a record set by the great Matt Busby.
Solskjaer, a fans’ favourite during his playing days with the Red Devils, has pledged to pass on some of the penalty box ‘nous’ he displayed during his career, and Rashford is grateful of the attention.
‘That’s the key, we’ve not had a chance to do proper work on it yet, but to have those words around you makes a difference,’ he told Sky Sports.
‘I want to improve and keep going. I think hard work was definitely the key and patience, of course.
‘They were difficult to break down. When we could try and counter, those were the times when they were a bit open and we had to make the right decisions going forward.
‘It took a bit longer than we would have liked to, but we got there in the end.’
Lukaku was the beneficiary of Rashford’s deliberate ploy of making the ball bounce in front of Dubravka, and is also enjoying life under Solskjaer.
‘You have to be ready. That’s what the manager asked of me before the game, and I’m just delighted to help the team and that we won again,’ he told Sky Sports.
‘I know with his shooting technique the goalkeeper might fumble it.
‘He did one in the first half, and I was already gambling to be there at the right time.’
On Solskjaer’s approach, Lukaku added: ‘It’s totally different. I think Marcus and I and Anthony [Martial] and all the rest are learning a lot from him, especially on the offensive side.
‘He’s just tried to help us and make us better. So far, so good, and we need to keep going.’