Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists the pressure of managing Manchester United is a ‘privilege’ and says he’s ‘here to win’ as pressure mounts on him following three defeats in four games
- Manchester United are looking for a crucial win on Wednesday against Villarreal
- The Red Devils are looking to bounce back after three defeats in four matches
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits he was backed in the transfer market in the summer
- The United boss added that his side must learn from the Europa League final loss
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists he has the backing of the Manchester United board but is under no illusions about the price of failure at Old Trafford.
Solskjaer goes into Wednesday’s Champions League group clash with Villarreal having lost three of his last four games in all competitions and is trying to avoid a third home defeat in a week.
Gary Neville has become the latest of Solskjaer’s ex-teammates to say that the Norwegian must deliver a trophy following similar warnings from Rio Ferdinand, Paul Scholes and Teddy Sheringham.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists the pressure of managing Manchester United is a ‘privilege’
United lost at home to Aston Villa at the weekend, continuing a decidedly patchy run of form
UNITED’S LAST FOUR MATCHES
- Lost 1-0 vs Aston Villa
- Lost 1-0 vs West Ham (Carabao Cup)
- Won 2-1 vs West Ham
- Lost 2-1 vs Young Boys (Champions League)
The United boss insists that he appreciates the cold reality of football but also believes that he has the support of his employers.
‘The pressure is a privilege,’ said Solskjaer.
‘To work in this environment you have to embrace that pressure. If he (Neville) says I have to win a trophy, yes I’ve been backed. The backing I’ve got says to me we are sticking to a plan, but we are in a results business.
‘Expectations have improved with our signings. I’m here to win, don’t think twice about that. Gary knows that. He knows what the DNA is at the club and what we are trying to do. We have an obligation to win here in a certain style.
‘Sometimes that is risky and you lose one or two. We have changed the team (against West Ham) in the Carabao Cup but we’ll get there and hopefully we’ll get there in April or May.
‘My focus is always on winning the next game short-term, and long-term on squad building, keep improving and winning. My focus has been on winning this game and getting back on track as we didn’t start well enough. Then we focus on the league again from Thursday morning, a position where we are still up there.
United need a positive result after the opening Champions League loss to Young Boys
‘We started okay in the league and in the Champions League we know we have to do better. I still believe we can improve with the players we have and our coaches.’
United’s opening defeat to Young Boys in Bern has brought added pressure against a Villarreal side who drew their Group F opener against Atalanta.
‘It’s the group stage and there are only six games,’ added Solskjaer. ‘You need 10 or 12 points to get through most likely and we lost last time.
‘Atalanta and Villarreal drew so maybe their point is not good enough for them either. If you end up with zero points or one point after two games, you need to win the last four probably.
‘It’s not a must-win game but it is very important. After the Young Boys game, if you win one away and your home games you should be through.’
Villarreal beat United in the final of last season’s Europa League in a penalty shoot-out
United are up against a Villarreal team that beat them on penalties in the final of the Europa League only four months ago, so Solskjaer knows what to expect from Unai Emery’s side.
‘We had a final against them not long ago which we remember not too fondly,’ he said. ‘They are very organised team with good individual players.
‘It is hard to press against them. We did well against them but it is difficult to create chances and we have to be better with more tempo to create chances.’