Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Manchester United are experiencing a poor run of form, four losses in their last seven games in all competitions. Ole is on the fan’s “hot seat”, as he seems to still have backing from the board.
“You know we’ve progressed over the years. Sixth [place in the Premier League] when I was here for half a season, then third, second, you can see the progress, improvement, development and this season we still want to improve. We’ve signed some players that have raised expectations, other teams have signed players and improved as well so we’re in the same boat all the top teams, there’s pressure all the time,” said Solskjaer when asked about the direction of the club.
“There’s pressure on me, of course. But we’ve been through this before and we’ve come through it stronger as individuals and as a team. I’m just looking forward to the response now. As you said, I’m in dialogue with the club all the time, that’s an open and honest discussion all the time.”
That could change with a loss to Liverpool this weekend. The fans seem to split lately, but a couple of more losses this week and the board could start to assess the Norwegian closer. The opinions of others are always going to be out there, especially when you are the manager of one of the wealthiest sporting organizations in the world.
Solskjaer in a way has to understand the criticism constructively, but not let the opinions of others shake him so that he has a clear head, his judgment should not be clouded.
“No, it doesn’t affect me. Of course, you see some of the comments once in a while. I didn’t see what he [Jamie Carragher] was saying now. Of course, we’ve got Liverpool on Sunday as well so Jamie is always looking at all these little things. I’ve got my values, I’ve got my way of managing and I believe in myself, as long as the club believe in me, I’m pretty sure Jamie Carragher’s opinion is not going to change that.”
Manchester United and Solskjaer know that they can not look ahead to Liverpool and sleep on the attack minded Atalanta side who have finished third place in Serie A the last three years.
“I’m very impressed by Atalanta’s way, call it the Atalanta way to put it that way. The style they play, the way they develop players, the results they’ve had in the last few years, the manager is clearly very strong, and he wants his team to play in a certain way. Of course, we signed Amad from Atalanta, we’ve watched them quite a lot and it’s a team with attacking philosophy that I think most lovers of football enjoy and like,” said Solskjaer.
The morale has not been high in the club lately, understandable when you hit some poor form for the mood to be low. If players were happy after the loss they would be scrutinized. The only thing that can change that is winning, simple as that. A couple of wins this week would be huge for moral.
Solskjaer was joined by Marcus Rashford in his press conference. The forward scored in his return from injury and his a huge boost to the side.
“When you’re asking about the mood, of course it’s not the gimmicky, jovial, happy camp, they’re focused and determined. As Marcus said, you look at yourself [and ask] ‘what you can do to help the team?’ I’ve seen a reaction from the players and conceding four goals is a big eye opener for us that we need to improve on different levels, lots of details” said Solskjaer about the mood.
“That’s what we’re aiming for now, a win against a very good Atalanta side by the way is going to be massive for us and a big boost,” said Solskjaer.