OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER insists he is improving Manchester United as calls grow for a change of manager. The Red Devils’ 4-2 defeat away to Leicest
OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER insists he is improving Manchester United as calls grow for a change of manager.
The Red Devils’ 4-2 defeat away to Leicester City on Saturday saw them fall five points away from top spot after a run of one win from five in all competitions.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists he is improving Manchester United[/caption]
They face Italian side Atalanta at home tomorrow in the Champions League with a win and a defeat from their opening two games.
United went out at the group stage last season but finished second in the Premier League on the back of a third placed finish the season before.
Evidence enough, for Solskjaer, that things are still going in the right direction.
Solskjaer said: “We’ve progressed over the years. Sixth when I was here for half a season then third, second, you can see the progress, improvement and development and this season we still want to improve.
“Yeah, we’ve signed players that have raised expectations. Other teams have signed players and improved as well so we’re in the same boat as all the top teams.”
While question marks have grown over Solskjaer’s management he believes that comes with the job of trying to steer United back to the top and insists he and the Glazer ownership remain on the same page.
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He said: “There’s pressure all the time. There’s pressure on me of course but we’ve been through this before and come through it stronger as individuals and as a team. I’m just looking forward to the response.
“I’m in dialogue with the club all the time and that’s an open and honest discussion all the time.
“We move on quickly to the next opponent and this is Atalanta which is a different opposition, a different competition and we focus on what we need to be good at in this game. “There’s been loads of stuff that hasn’t been good enough lately and we’ve put a few things right and hopefully we can see the result of that in the performance.”
The point is that every time Solskjaer asks for a response it means there hasn’t been one the game before.
It all feels a little confused – take this from the boss: “I think every coach, every manager, every player is the same.
“You have to know what you’re doing well as well, you look at things you’re making sure you enhance those things as well and try to eradicate the mistakes. If you don’t know what you’re doing well that’s a mistake in itself.”
Erm right ok.
The problem is the mood in camp is not a good one.
The Red Devils have won just once in their last five matches in all competitions[/caption]
Big names like Cristiano Ronaldo and Raphael Varane have arrived with big expectations.
One was on the pitch at the King Power and did little, one was injured and powerless.
As for Jadon Sancho, are United sure they signed the right bloke?
At least they have a manager who refuses to buckle under the weight of criticism and expectation, which obviously intensified after Saturday’s 4-2 defeat.
He said: “When you ask about moods it’s not the gimmicky, jovial happy camp. We’re focused and determined.
“I’ve seen a reaction from the players and probably conceding four goals is a big eye opener for us that we need to improve on different levels on loads of details.
“It’s very important to bounce back. In the Champions’ League group stage you have six games if you win all three home games and get results away from home most likely you go through. And that’s what we’re aiming for now, a win against a very good Atalanta side would be massive for us and a big boost.”
Marcus Rashford was sat alongside Solskjaer in the pre-match Atalanta press conference, no doubt in a bid to alaye any fears that there might be a problem over the players admirable off field activities addressing child poverty.
Solskjaer said on Friday that it was time to prioritise his football but blamed the media for taking him out of context.
Marcus Rashford made a scoring return for United at Leicester[/caption]
He said: “Just to get the elephant out of the room straightaway with the headlines that came after the chat I had before the Leicester game of course we’re so unbelievably proud of what Marcus has done on and off the pitch and you know what I said and you made a headline out of one little comment that I never intended to be the focus of what I was saying.
“I was saying about Marcus that now it must be nice for the boy to focus on going into training and not feeling his ankle or shoulder or back, now he can go and enjoy his football and I think you all know that so I just wanted to start with that so there’s no more questions on that one and Marcus is not asked about it but anyway I just wanted to start with that so we got it out of the way. “
All cleared up then.
Rashford himself scored a cracking goal at Leicester to make it 2-2 and the coaches at Carrington have been impressed with the way he has been informing in training.
Perhaps he can now be the talisman to turn things around.
But he knows they have to defend better as a whole team to progress this season.
Rashford said: “I think for us as players we have to go back to basics, look at ourselves and see what we can do better. We’ve had the conversation as a team as we would do whether we win a game or lose a game. We know the next game is another opportunity to improve and that’s always the aim.
“Especially in the Premier League you have to defend well and I don’t talk about just the back four. As a team you have to defend as one and against Leicester we were just too open. It’s as simple as that.
“They’re a good footballing team as there are a lot of them out there and it was too easy for them to play through us and we’re going to do our best not to let that happen again. This game is the first opportunity to show that’s what we’re focused on.”
And after the Atalanta game Solskjaer will once again know if he is progressing or is a rubbish manager, such is the day to day life of a Manchester United boss post Fergie.
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