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‘The good, bad and the ugly!’ – Solskjaer reflects on Henderson’s mixed Man Utd performance against Sheffield United

The Red Devils boss has offered an honest assessment of the England international’s erratic display against the Blades at Bramall Lane

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted that Dean Henderson is still “learning” after the Manchester United goalkeeper’s gaffe against Sheffield United.

Henderson has found regular minutes hard to come by since returning to United from a two-year loan spell at Bramall Lane in the summer.

The 23-year-old was tipped to replace David de Gea between the sticks after the Spaniard’s dismal 2019-20 campaign, but Solskjaer has kept faith with the Red Devils No.1 at the start of the new campaign.

Henderson has been restricted to just six appearances for the Red Devils as a result, but he was handed a rare start against his former loan club on Thursday night.

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Unfortunately, the England international was unable to take full advantage of his chance to shine, with his inexplicable error in the fifth minute gifting Sheffield United the opening goal of the game.

The young shot-stopper was dispossessed by Oliver Burke after failing to clear his lines, and the Blades winger was able to knock the ball back into the path of the onrushing David McGoldrick, who made no mistake from close range.

Henderson’s blushes were ultimately spared as the visitors staged another thrilling comeback, with a Marcus Rashford brace and an Anthony Martial strike giving Solskjaer’s side a sixth successive victory on the road.

The Blades set up a frantic finale when McGoldrick grabbed his second of the night in the 87th minute though, and United’s back-up ‘keeper produced a brilliant save in stoppage time to prevent the hosts from grabbing a dramatic equaliser.

Solskjaer offered an honest assessment of Henderson’s overall display after the final whistle, conceding that the net-minder is still developing his all-round game before praising him for his reaction to an early setback.

“The good, bad and the ugly, maybe in a different order. He is always learning,” the Norwegian told reporters of the ex-Sheffield United star’s performance. “He has probably been looking forward to coming back here and to get from that start shows his character for the rest of the game.”

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Asked if he was pleased with his team’s 3-2 triumph at Bramall Lane, Solskjaer responded: “It could have been more comfortable. We were a little sloppy at 3-1 up. The corner that led to the second goal wasn’t a corner but when it goes in it was really difficult because they are a handful.

“I thought all three goals were excellent. I wanted to test them here today, we knew it was going to be a physical test. The fight, we are going to get kicked. It is one of these games the boys will learn from.”

The Red Devils head coach added on the prospect of a crucial home fixture against Leeds United at the weekend: “We need to sort the home form. It is not like it is home and away with these conditions without fans.

“We should be more used to the Old Trafford pitches than these pitches. Sunday is a massive game, we have been waiting for years and we will be ready for it.”

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