Saturday, December 4, 2021

Solskjaer backs himself after fans hit out following latest humiliation as Man Utd boss faces sack

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 21 Nov 2021

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Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes he can arrest the club’s alarming slump as fans booed following their humiliating 4-1 Premier League loss at Watford.

Solskjaer is reportedly facing the sack after United were thrashed by lowly Watford, who had not won at home in the Premier League since the opening day of the season.

Donny van de Beek had reduced the deficit at Vicarage Road, where Josh King and Ismaila Sarr gave Watford a half-time lead.

Joao Pedro and Emmanuel Dennis completed the rout in injury time after United captain Harry Maguire was sent off in the second half.

United – who were hammered 5-0 by rivals Liverpool before being outclassed against neighbours Manchester City prior to the international break – have taken just four points from their previous seven games, their worst such run since December 2001, while this was the club’s heaviest defeat to a promoted side in the Premier League era.

As Solskjaer fights to save his job amid links with former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane and Leicester City’s Brendan Rodgers, the Norwegian backed himself.

“I always have belief in myself, but of course at the moment, that it’s a difficult time for us,” Solskjaer said in a news conference. “I can see, I can trust every single one that’s out there to give what they have.

“The staff are fantastic but the results at the moment are difficult but yeah, I believe that we can turn this around.”

United are seventh in the Premier League and already 12 points behind leaders Chelsea through 12 rounds.

Only in 2001-02 (11 games) have United conceded 20-plus goals after fewer games in a single Premier League campaign than they have this term.

On being booed at full-time, Solskjaer added: “I understand the fans who’ve supported the club through thick and thin. They’ve been fantastic over the last few years.

“It’s a difficult period. We’ve had a hard time since Sir Alex [Ferguson] left. I think the fans have been with us the last few years since I came in, and they’ve been unbelievable. They’ve understood the situation. 

“The signings this summer with Rafa [Rafael Varane] Jadon [Sancho] and Cristiano [Ronaldo], of course raised everyone’s expectations. Rightly so because we’ve brought some top players in and after being second last season, we hoped to kick on. At the moment we can’t seem to find our form.

“I understand. That’s their right to share their opinion. But as Bruno [Fernandes] is such a passionate boy and a man, he knows that football can change quickly.”

Veteran Watford boss Claudio Ranieri also threw his support behind his under-fire counterpart.

“I think he must be calm,” Ranieri – a Premier League winner with Leicester, having also coached Chelsea, Juventus, Inter, Roma and Atletico Madrid – told reporters. “The chairman must be calm. Because football is this… up and down.

“But I understand Manchester United can do up and down but he must have time to build his actions, build his team.”

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