Thursday 5 December 2019

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer rejects 'blatant lies' as speculation mounts over his future at Manchester United

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Manager of Manchester United applauds the fans. Photo: Getty
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Manager of Manchester United applauds the fans. Photo: Getty
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hit out at the 'made up, blatant lies' amid fresh rumours over his position.

Solskjaer has overseen United's worst start to a season in 30 years and while club officials have suggested the Norwegian continues to have their full support, that confidence could be tested if Jose Mourinho's Tottenham win at Old Trafford on Wednesday night.

Mourinho will take on United for the first time since he was sacked as the club's manager last December, amid increasing speculation that his successor is under pressure to hang onto his job after last Sunday's 2-2 draw against Aston Villa.

"Sometimes you laugh when you read stories about what I've said and stuff," said Solskjaer. "At least I know the sources everyone is talking about aren't sources, they are just made up, blatant lies.

"I'm just focusing on my job and that's doing as well as I can, looking forward to the next game, but also look long term, plan things with board.

Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho returns to Old Trafford tomorrow night (Adam Davy/PA)

"It's that time of year, it's never nice to see your colleagues lose your jobs, three in a very short space of time. Some of them, you can talk about this VAR all day long, I don't know what the reasons are behind the sackings at different clubs, but one result - Southampton-Watford - with the handball, and we're talking about something completely different.

"We've had too many draws for my liking, defeats of course, but draws we should have turned into wins, and football is a results business, of course."

When asked whether he was still speaking regularly with United executive vie-chairman Ed Woodward he replied: "We speak all the time, so it's not like knee-jerk, suddenly now we need to talk.

"We speak a few times every week so it's continually progressing, the plans we've put in place, the rebuilding we know we started, we made some decisions we had to do that were necessary and now, of course, we're not happy where we are but will continue working."

Solskjaer also insisted Mourinho will get a warm reception on his return to Old Trafford, as the coach who won the League Cup and Europa League for the club prepares to enter the away tam dugout as Tottenham boss.

Paul Pogba remains sidelined with injury (Richard Sellers/PA)

"Very good reception, that's a testament to the club, the supporters of this club. Of course they remember the time he was here, he won trophies. For me, I am 100% sure they will welcome him, the club, the staff, everyone," said Solskjaer.

"I don't think whoever the manager or the opposition team is will change the motivation (of his players). They are motivated to do well for Manchester United because they know it is about proving it every time you step on to the pitch that you should be part of this long term.

"When you put that shirt on, it doesn't matter who you're going to play against you've got to give it you're all. The boys were disappointed after Sunday, but now it's all eyes on tomorrow night."

Solskjaer confirmed that Paul Pogba remains on the sidelines for United with injury, while fellow midfielders Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic are 'touch and go' for Wednesday's game.

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