In an exclusive interview, designer Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told Sky Sports that his 18 years at Manchester United would not be defined by his current streak of poor performance.
Solskjaer’s team was left reeling after a 5-0 defeat to fierce rivals Liverpool Super Sunday The match that extended their Premier League career without a win to four matches.
The grueling schedule has not subsided either, as United travel to Tottenham this weekend, live on Sky Sports, ahead of their midweek trip to Atalanta in the Champions League. Next come the domestic rivals and Premier League champions Manchester City ahead of the international break.
Despite continued pressure on both the club and the coach, Solskjaer was in a defiant mood when discussing United’s latest problems, and he targeted a major reaction on Saturday.
Tell Patrick Davison of Sky Sports Football Saturday: “I have open and direct communication with the club, with the board of directors and we are very ahead. Of course I don’t expect them to come out and defend a performance like this. [against Liverpool]And we’re in bad shape.
“But my 18 years at the club won’t be defined in these few weeks. I’ve had ups and downs as a player, I’ve had ups and downs as a coach, as a coach on the reserve, and for myself, I’ll always make sure I’m going to fight back.
“I will not let a period like this define me. I will do everything now to get a result on Saturday and that is the only thing we can do. We need a reaction and we need a result.”
“I haven’t seen what is being talked about now or what is being said there, but we have two or three years, let’s call them ‘crises’, in the two or three years I’ve been here. The team and the players have come through stronger.
“Every team has a bad spell every season, we are in a very precarious and bad moment, but that is what good players thrive on, that pressure. They are here at Man United because they are good people and good players who can handle these situations.
“It’s not about me, it’s about the club, the players and the fans. All the players will remember that all the fans stayed and supported the team. [against Liverpool].
“They will always support the team, even when they are 5-0 down, they are there and singing. It is remarkable that the club has that and has had some dark moments.
“At the moment, yes, we are in a bad moment but it’s not like everything and the end of it all, the result is against Tottenham. I can’t think that way. All I have to think is that we prepared well, which we did.
“We had a good week of training and sorted out some mentalities because we need to get into the game with the right frame of mind – aggressive and do our best to win, but also to be calm and in control and wait for the right moment.”
Solskjaer added: “You see, for example, Tyson Fury; he’s brought down, he stays in place for as long as he needs – calm down and acclimatise – and then he gets up and back again.”
Lies in the press are unacceptable
Earlier this week, Paul Pogba took to social media to dispel a series of rumors in the press, calling them “fake news”. According to a report in the sunHe shrugged off midfielder Solskjaer after Manchester United’s loss to Liverpool and halted contract talks.
“The reports this week have been nonsense and even Paul had to go out on social media,” Solskjaer said, giving his opinion to the week’s reports. “He came to me and said he had to do it, I didn’t see him, but he was very angry.
“People try to make up stories about that, but that’s the dynamics of football. When someone falls, people want to make up stories that are unacceptable, they are lies. Any report on how bad we are or giving an opinion, that’s fine, but don’t make up lies. Paul was Really strong at that.
“We have a much better culture than that, the players are good, honest professionals. They are good players and good people. I don’t get that from the press, it’s not acceptable and they know who they are.”
“When players see blatant lies about them, they react because we have come a long way from the lies. We accept any criticism that comes our way, we have to do it because we didn’t get the results or put in the performances.
“But we can’t accept making up lies. We know we’re Man United and we make the headlines but that’s not acceptable.”
Solskjaer about tactics and team selection
While there has been plenty of analysis of Solskjaer’s decisions, the United boss has offered his own insight into the issues with his squad this season and how he’s dealing with his team’s choices.
“This season, we’ve been very open to counter-attacks,” Solskjaer explained. “There are a lot of things I can do in detail and the thing about it is that we had more players behind the ball than we had last season.
“We adjusted a few things, we sent another midfielder in there, and that made us stay behind with five players instead of four like we did last year where we had a very good clean sheet record. We were punished in these moments and that needs to be sorted out. naturally.
He was here doing some commercials so I saw them and spent a few minutes with him. I saw him and talked to him. He feels the same way as we do, to sort things out for the next match.
“We were criticized last year when we played midfielders, and this year we were criticized because we played midfielders because the other front four are very offensive.
“It’s an amazing game, but we always work on balance and we can get the best out of this squad. We have a lot of good players and it’s about finding the balance.
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“I have a lot of talent to choose from in the front of the field, in the middle of the field and in the back. Every day in training and every time I choose a team or a team, I have to let go of the best players and it is difficult, I have to find balance, I have to Find the team structure that fits that match and that match.
“I can do a lot of talking, but the evidence is in the candy. We have to see the results, we have to see a reaction. I know the boys are giving it their all.”
“They work as hard as I expect. You just have to stay mentally strong, and have the mentality of ‘I’m going to fight through this, we can’t give up.'”
Solskjaer concluded with the same confident mindset: “I believe in myself and it’s not about me, it’s about going forward. It’s been rock bottom when you lose to your opponent that way.”
“When I was here as a player we lost 5-0 to Newcastle, 6-3 to Southampton, even in between we lost to Fenerbahce 1-0, our first home defeat in the Champions League group stage.
“This was my first season at the club and I learned a lot about the club and how strong people – the winners – react to adversity. This club has been through many bad spells and I am strong enough to know I wouldn’t. I gave up anyway.”
Will Manchester United go out to fight again? “We always definitely do that.”
English Premier League Preview: Redknapp refereed against Tottenham and Manchester United | Will the rise of West Ham continue? | Norwich and Everton problems
Join Pete Smith with Jamie Redknapp, Oliver Yeo and Simon Gollam for a preview of another action-packed weekend in the Premier League.
Part 1 | Jimmy Redknapp reviews the Saturday Night Football match between Tottenham and Manchester United. Will United recover from their humiliating 5-0 defeat to Liverpool last weekend?
Part 2 | Pete Smith is joined by Oliver Yeo and Simon Glam to look to Aston Villa against West Ham on Sunday Super. West Ham’s season continues to improve after winning the Carabao Cup against Man City. Will this good race continue at Villa Park?
Part 3 | Norwich vs Leeds Super Sunday Wolves vs Everton Monday Night Football: Pressure builds on Daniel Farke, Rafael Benitez looks for solutions.
Running hard for Man United
October 30: Tottenham (A) – Premier League, 5:30pm, live Sky Sports
November 2: Atlanta (A) – Champions League, 8pm
November 6: Manchester City (H) – Premier League, 12.30pm, live Sky Sports
November 20: Watford (A) – Premier League, 3pm
November 23: Villarreal (A) – Champions League, game 45 minutes
November 28: Chelsea (A) – Premier League, 4:30pm, live Sky Sports
December 2nd: Arsenal (H) – Premier League, match 8.15pm