Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: Man Utd manager insists he will be successful and backs players to respond
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists he will be successful at Manchester United and is backing his players to respond following back-to-back defeats.
United are 15th in the Premier League table with only two wins from six matches and are reeling from a 2-1 defeat to Istanbul Basaksehir in the Champions League on Wednesday.
It has once again brought Solskjaer’s position under scrutiny, but United have no plans to replace him despite reports linking former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino with the manager’s role at Old Trafford.
- Man Utd continue to back Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
- Merse: Everton game biggest of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s career
- What’s gone wrong with Man Utd?
Solskjaer refused to comment on his future after the defeat in Turkey but speaking at his press conference ahead of United’s trip to Everton in the Premier League on Saturday, the Norwegian was questioned again.
“If I don’t trust my beliefs and values, my staff’s qualities and the quality of my players, who else should?” Solskjaer said.
“I don’t look at one or two results and fall like a house of cards. It’s a setback, definitely, but I think there’s been too much made of not scoring against Arsenal and Chelsea, because there’s been more or less nothing in those two games.
“It’s not long ago that we were the best thing since sliced bread when we beat RB Leipzig and Paris Saint-Germain.
“There’s ups and downs in football and that’s just the way it has to be and you’ve got to have that belief in yourself and belief in the players.
“The club has been very positive and shown me their character and their strong leadership and I’m looking to Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off now.”
More to follow…
‘Man Utd continue to back Solskjaer’
Sky Sports News reporter James Cooper:
“From what I’m being told, Manchester United still see Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as a long-term project and somebody who should be given the backing and support to do this job. I don’t think anything’s changed.
“What’s their reaction to the last couple of days? I think it’s not good. A week ago, we were all saying what an amazing coach and how things have changed under Solskjaer.
“He out-thought RB Leipzig when they won 5-0 at Old Trafford and everything seemed to be changing. The flipside to that is, how on earth did those players beat Leipzig 5-0 and then put in the performances that we’ve seen over the last couple of games?
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“There are major question marks. You saw Solskjaer – he was furious with what happened in Istanbul. He protected his players, didn’t criticise them too much. But I think you can see that he’s expecting a big turnaround against Everton at the weekend.
“We have been here before but most Manchester United fans would tell you, when he needs a result, he gets one. But going to Everton at the weekend won’t be easy. November is a sticky time for managers post Sir Alex Ferguson.
“This time last year, there were the same questions against Solskjaer. The message from United is that they’re backing Solskjaer. He is the man for the long-term, but things do need to improve on the pitch.
“Everybody will be looking at Goodison Park on Saturday lunchtime to see what kind of Manchester United team do turn up. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be leading that team.
“He needs a performance and he also needs a result against Everton.”
McClaren: Ole must be ruthless
Former Manchester United assistant manager Steve McClaren says Solskjaer must be “ruthless” with his underperforming players.
“Ole’s under pressure. He needs clarity, a clear head and good support staff to tell him the truth,” McClaren told Sky Sports News.
“But he also needs to be ruthless, and those players that aren’t performing, he has to somehow turn that around. Ole and his staff must take responsibility because there’s been that many systems over the last few weeks. There’s been a change of personnel – is he trying to keep everybody happy and give everybody a game?
“Those players have to take responsibility also; they’re not doing it game in, game out. Yes, Ole takes responsibility, but the players also must look at themselves.
“The game against Everton on Saturday is pivotal but he’s been through this situation before – the speculation and everybody calling for his head – but himself, the team and the staff have pulled themselves through and got a result they needed.”
What’s gone wrong with Man Utd?
Manchester United looked to be heading upwards when they qualified for the Champions League following a strong end to the 2019/20 season. Fast-forward three months and they are 15th in the Premier League and reeling from an embarrassing defeat to Istanbul Basaksehir.
The Champions League had provided a welcome distraction from domestic difficulties for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, but, having beaten Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig, their shortcomings were exposed in an abject defeat on the banks of the Bosporus on Wednesday evening.
Manchester United were supposed to push on this season, they were supposed to build on that late surge which secured a top-four finish on the final day. Instead, they have made their worst start since the David Moyes era, and worst start at Old Trafford in almost half a century. After all the promise, how did we end up here?
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