Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has heaped praise on Daniel James after he netted the winner in their 3-1 victory over Newcastle United on Sunday, adding that the winger has "never disappeared" from his plans despite existing on the fringes of his squad.
The Wales international helped restore the lead at Old Trafford just before the hour mark for the hosts, before Bruno Fernandes' penalty confirmed a three-point haul against Steve Bruce's Magpies.
It marked the second time in four days the former Swansea man has found the back of the net after he grabbed his chance against Real Sociedad in the Europa League on Thursday and his manager had nothing but kind words to say for how he has applied himself since his arrival in 2019.
Solskjaer on James
“He never disappeared. He has been working hard behind the scenes and always been available. He is always a player you can use in different areas with his energy and pace,” the Norwegian told BT Sport.
“We work with him, we try to help everyone but of course Dan came from the Championship, he hit a few goals in the first games and it is bound to take some energy from you. He has knuckled down and really worked to get back to full fitness but maybe more so confidence, to believe in himself.
“We can't control any other team, we just have to focus on ourselves and be the best possible Manchester United every game. Things happen and there are many surprises in football.”
The big picture
Victory means that United stay vaguely in touch with Manchester City in the title race. They have moved back up to second in the Premier League standings, albeit ahead of Leicester only on goal difference and still 10 points behind their neighbours.
Solskjaer’s side, meanwhile, have a Europa League last-32 clash with Real Sociedad to come on Thursday, though after a 4-1 win in the first leg, the coach can afford to rotate his side.
James, therefore, will be aiming to feature against Chelsea in next week’s big Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge having scored on his last two starts.