Solskjaer, Rashford scoop January awards

Manchester United interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer celebrates after the Arsenal v Manchester United match at Emirates Stadium, London, Britain, Jan 25, 2019. (Reuters pic)

MANCHESTER: Manchester United caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was named Premier League manager of the month after an unbeaten start to his reign at Old Trafford and striker Marcus Rashford clinched the player of the month award for January.

Solskjaer, who replaced Jose Mourinho in December, became the first United manager to receive the award since Alex Ferguson in October 2012 during the season when the club last won the league title.

United claimed 10 points from a possible 12 in January, with victories over Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur and Brighton and Hove Albion, and a comeback home draw with Burnley.

“We want to move up the table and this is the start of it,” said Solskjaer, who has closed the gap between United and the top four teams to two points.

“You cannot be a good leader or a manager without good players… so ultimately it’s how they respond to what we tell them and they’ve been fantastic, so all credit to them.”

The 21-year-old Rashford, who scored three goals in four league matches last month, was the first United player to claim the monthly prize since Zlatan Ibrahimovic in December 2016.

United visit 19th-placed Fulham on Saturday.