Five things we learned from narrow win against Watford
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 09: Scott McTominay of Manchester United in action with Will Hughes of Watford during the FA Cup Third Round match between Manchester United and Watford at Old Trafford on January 09, 2021 in Manchester, England. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

The Red Devils passed up a number of a chances to extend the lead, and a number of players passed up their chance to impress Olé. I pick out five lessons to take from yesterday’s FA Cup victory.

  • McTominay should continue to start

Scott showed exactly why he was given the captain’s armband. Not only did he score the winning goal, his endless work ethic and fight for the team in central midfield was second to none – and it’s exactly what we need. A spot alongside Fernandes should be his and it’s down to Fred and Pogba to battle it out for the final place in the three in my opinion.

  • The fringe players need to be better

No one had a bad performance, but McTominay was the only starting player who shined. Bearing in mind that this was against a Championship team, the vast majority didn’t look superior to their opponents and that’s a real worry. If we want to be successful on numerous fronts, we need a quality squad, not just the starting eleven.

  • Lingard should be on his way

I like Jesse, but I’m not his biggest fan. He’s had a tough couple of years both on and off the pitch and I think it’s time to move to pastures new. He’s no longer at the level we require and there’s no chance of him even being considered for the England squad unless he’s starting week in, week out. Seeing him go would be a sad moment, but the best for both parties.

  • A Bailly replacement is required

Like I’ve already said, we need more quality and that’s without Eric getting injured. I really feel for the man – he’s having a horrid time with injuries. If you read my transfers piece, you’ll know that I already felt we needed defensive reinforcements. Now it’s paramount.

  • James and Greenwood need to step it up

​​​​​​​At the start of the season, these two were my shouts to show the most progression and improvement, but it looks as though I may have been mistaken. Dan James hasn’t had a run of games in which to impress properly and I rate him, but Mason hasn’t been the same since the England fiasco with Phil Foden. Two different players, one very similar situation.

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