Sunday 20 October 2019

'It's a team improving, it's evolving' - Ole Gunnar Solskjaer urges Manchester United fans to trust his vision

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff

David Charlesworth

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer recognises this season will be full of "ups and downs" but the Manchester United manager has urged players and supporters alike to trust in his long-term vision.

United have made an indifferent start to the campaign with only two wins from their opening six Premier League fixtures ahead of the visit of Arsenal to Old Trafford on Monday.

Solskjaer, though, is refusing to panic and echoed executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward's assertion earlier this week that patience will be the key over the coming months.

The Norwegian said: "I never said it was going to be easy this season, I've said it many times. There will be ups and downs and highs and lows.

"When we lose a game and go through difficult periods it's time for us to trust ourselves and trust what we're doing and keep our eyes on the prize, and keep working to the principles that we believe in.

"It's not changing direction every game you lose. Every game in the Premier League is winnable but also losable, it's fine margins.

"You listen to the crowd at Old Trafford, they're amazing. Now is the time to keep supporting us because we are going through a leaner patch, both trophy-wise in the last few years and now with results in the last few games."

United have won only once in the top flight in their last five outings, while a side featuring several first-team players needed penalties to see off League One Rochdale in the Carabao Cup third round in midweek.

Solskjaer is not disheartened, though, and believes United's desperation to shine may be holding them back.

He said: "It's a team improving, it's evolving, it's a young team.

"The culture is there. I see them every single day in training and we don't have any issues with attitude or work rate and desire.

"Now, can we trust ourselves? Can we find that composure?

"You can see against Astana (in the Europa League) and Rochdale that the boys want to impress and do well, and maybe they rushed the finish at times. It's getting there."

Solskjaer revealed Paul Pogba was a doubt for the Arsenal clash because of a swollen ankle, while Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial are unlikely to be available due to groin and thigh injuries respectively.

While the Gunners are three points better off than United, Unai Emery's men have flattered to deceive at times in the early stages of the campaign but they have not come under the scrutiny that Solskjaer and his troops have done.

Solskjaer added: "I don't worry about what the press writes about other teams. I don't worry about what the press writes about me or Man United really because we are focused on what we have to do and that's keep improving.

"When I was (a player) at Man United, you do have the headlines which is a great position to be in, we wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

"We wouldn't want to scramble the newspapers to see if they've written anything about us because that's our rightful place."

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