Ole Gunnar Solskjaer accepts Manchester United are in a “different era” to their glory days of the 1990s after failing to break down AZ.
United failed to have a shot on target in Thursday night’s drab goalless draw in the Europa League, continuing their stuttering start to Solskjaer’s first full season in charge at Old Trafford.
They have taken 49 points from their 28 Premier League games under Solskjaer, two fewer than they did in their final 28 under Jose Mourinho before his sacking last December.
United have not been genuine Premier League title contenders since the retirement of managerial great Alex Ferguson, with Solskjaer accepting teams do not respect or fear the Red Devils as they once did.
“We’re not in the nineties now. It’s a different era, a different team and group we’re building,” Solskjaer said.
“We know there’s going to be ups and downs and I’m ready to see these boys blossom. There are not many clubs with our stature that play the young players like we do. They’ll have a chance to come through and we’re sure some of these will be part of a successful team.
“I don’t know what the opponents think of us but I know sometimes, when you walk off games, that we’re not doing bad, sometimes there’s a gap and I’ve felt that at times but not very often.
“I can’t think about what others think about us, we’re working to improve and that’s what we want to do.”
10 – Manchester United have failed to win any of their last 10 away matches across all competitions (D4 L6) – they last went on a longer winless run on the road between February and September 1989 (run of 11). Worrying. pic.twitter.com/doznd0WEp9
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 3, 2019
United travel to Newcastle United on Sunday with the Magpies’ new head coach Steve Bruce under pressure after a 5-0 defeat at Leicester City last time out.
Bruce and Solskjaer played together at United but a familiar face in the opposition dugout will change nothing for the Norwegian, whose side are winless in 10 consecutive away games in all competitions.
“You know as managers you don’t want to give anyone any favours when we play each other,” Solskjaer said.
“Brucey is going to set up a team to win, I’m going to set up a team to try to win, so we’re going there – it’s a great stadium to play at – and we’re looking forward to the game.
“Hopefully we’ve got many players fresh for Sunday.”
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