Under-pressure Solskjaer ready to ‘fight back’


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he is ready to “fight back” as manager of Manchester United.

The Norwegian has been left in a precarious position following the 5-0 defeat to Liverpool.

– Insider Notebook: Rodgers eyed as Solskjaer successor

And while he said the intense speculation surrounding his future has made for a “difficult week,” he added that he is up for the challenge of turning things around — starting with the trip to Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.

“I’ve been through some very bad moments as a player here, and when I’ve been a manager I’ve dealt with setbacks,” Solskjaer told a news conference on Friday. “There have been two or three crises at least since I became manager here and one thing I can say is I’ll always give it a good shot and fight back.

“It’s been a difficult week, of course. We’ve had to deal with the result and performance against Liverpool which we know wasn’t good enough and that’s something that footballers have to deal with, that’s why we’re in this game. We’ve had a good week on the training field.”

Sources told ESPN earlier in the week that several key players had lost faith in Solskjaer even before the defeat to Liverpool and that he was only allowed to continue in his position due to internal reservation over appointing Antonio Conte as his successor.

Solskjaer appeared in a relatively relaxed mood while speaking to media on Friday. Asked how he was, he replied: “Good, why shouldn’t I be?”

With no Carabao Cup game, United have had a full week to prepare to face Spurs. The squad has been bolstered by the return of Raphael Varane and Solskjaer believes supporters will see a positive response at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday evening.

“We need a reaction and it’s my job as well to put the players in the right frame of mind,” he added. “I’m responsible for the reaction, the result, the performance. We’ve worked on the pitch, worked on everything that needs to be sorted for a footballer.

“It’s not just frame of mind — it’s strategy, gameplan, tactics — we’ve had a good week and I feel the boys are ready to give their best. Nothing went to plan [against Liverpool] and that was nowhere near our best.”

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