Solskjaer: Board and players back me


Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists he still has the backing of the board and his players as he heads into a crucial clash with Watford.

United have lost six of their last 12 games to heap the pressure on Solskjaer but the Norwegian says everyone at the club is pulling in the same direction ahead of the trip to Vicarage Road on Saturday.

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“I’ve been in contact and communicated with the club as I do all the time,” Solskjaer told a news conference on Friday.

“The players, the staff, myself, the club; we are working to one goal to improve, get better results.

“The fans are still supporting the team and the club, they’ve been through this period, backed the team through the rebuild. When you lose a game you’re always disappointed and under pressure, we’ve been communicating openly and honestly.”

Watford have not won a league game at home since the opening day of the season and despite United’s last visit ending in a 2-0 defeat in December 2019, Solskjaer is confident his team can kick-start a run of form ahead of three straight away games.

Villarreal are next up on Tuesday before a trip to Stamford Bridge to face league leaders Chelsea.

“We’ve been through periods like this before,” said Solskjaer. “Our away form, we’ve just gone 30-odd games and lost one. Last season we turned it around and went on a run of 20-odd games and one defeat, that’s the kind of run we need to get back.

“This week we’ve prioritised a few things we have to improve on. Form and performances haven’t been good enough. We can do better, should do better and it’s down to performances on the day.”

Solskjaer will be without injured pair Raphael Varane and Paul Pogba at Watford meaning either Donny van de Beek or Jesse Lingard could be in for a rare start.

Lingard, out of contract in the summer, is yet to start in the league this season but Solskjaer says the 28-year-old still has a key role to play.

“Jesse is training really hard, really well and he’s ready and available for me,” said the United boss.

“For me, Jesse is still a big part of this squad. He gives quality to the group every day.

“Every player wants to play as much as possible. With Jesse and all my players they’re working really hard. Jesse has done well when he’s played for us and with the games coming up he’s going to play a part.”

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