Sunday, 14 July

Manchester United boss ready to 'fight back' after 'difficult week'

Sports News
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says "it has been a difficult week" but he is ready to "fight back".

Solskjaer is under pressure after a 5-0 thrashing by Liverpool left his side seventh in the Premier League and eight points adrift of leaders Chelsea.

His side's next game is away against Tottenham in the league on Saturday at 17:30 BST.

"We need a reaction," said Solskjaer. "It's my job to put the players in the right frame of mind."

He added: "I'm responsible for the reaction, result and performance. We've worked on everything on the pitch that needs to be sorted for a footballer.

"We've had a good week and I feel that the boys are ready to give their best, as they always do.

"Nothing went to plan [against Liverpool] and that was nowhere near our best."

'We can't accept when lies are being made up'

Former United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was at the Old Trafford club's training ground during the week.

Asked whether he had spoken to the Scot and if he could survive a precarious period like Ferguson did in 1990 before going on to achieve success, Solskjaer said: "Yes, on both accounts.

"We had a commercial day and Sir Alex came to do some commercial stuff. I met and spoke to him for a brief moment. He was in there with Cristiano [Ronaldo].

"I've been through some very bad moments here as a player. When I've been a coach and manager I've had to deal with setbacks. There's probably been two or three crises at least since I became the manager here.

"One thing I can say is that I will always give it a shot and fight back."

United have taken just one point from their past four league matches and the game against Spurs is followed by Atalanta away in the Champions League on Tuesday and a derby at home to Manchester City on Sunday, 6 November.

Paul Pogba is unavailable to face Tottenham following his sending-off against Liverpool.

A report claimed the France midfielder ignored Solskjaer after the Liverpool game and had put contract talks on hold, but Pogba tweeted a picture of the headline with a post saying: "Big lies to make headlines."

"We expect to be criticised, because hands up, the performance [against Liverpool] wasn't good enough - you expect to hear it from right, left and centre," said Solskjaer.

"But we can't accept when lies are being made up, and Paul came to me and told me what he had put out on his social media account.

"We're better than that as a group. The culture is better, the environment is better. When it's blatant lies, they have to stand up and say so.

"All the opinions and reports, fine, but don't make lies about players or me."

Solskjaer uses Tyson Fury analogy about Liverpool thrashing

The 5-0 loss to Liverpool was United's largest margin of defeat against their Merseyside rivals at home.

"Of course you have to hold your hands up - that performance is not acceptable. And you have to look at why it wasn't acceptable, and why it went as it did," said Solskjaer.

"I use the analogy that it felt like we were a boxer being punched, getting knocked down in the first round. We had a chance, we conceded a goal, and we wanted to sort it out and we went a bit too open and too frantic against a good team.

"You see Tyson Fury when he gets knocked down a few times, it's remarkable.

"Maybe we got up too early and tried to sort it. Minds have to be better but, of course, we've had to look at different things, and of course, you have to be upfront and honest. The communication has to be direct."


Source: BBC