‘I need character and sacrifice’ – Solksjaer draws the line at Manchester United
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has had enough.
After taking over the reins from Jose Mourinho late last year and leading Man United to 14 wins in 17 games, the Norwegian is now severely embedded in a rough patch, taking seven defeats from his last nine games.
More importantly, these defeats have involved big teams like Manchester City, Barcelona and Arsenal – teams which, ideally, his Red Devils side should be competing with on the same level.
Following Man United’s 2-0 defeat at the hands of noisy neighbours Manchester City at Old Trafford on Wednesday, April 24, Solskjaer was subject to verbal attacks and criticism from pundits and United faithful including ex-captain Roy Keane.
Keane warned Solskjaer of players throwing him under the bus just like they did to Mourinho if he doesn’t start getting good results on a consistent basis.
“You're supposed to be up for every game, doesn't matter if you're playing for Man United or Altrincham. These were the players that threw Mourinho under the bus, and they'll do the same to Ole. Leopards don't change their spots. It's a big test for Ole,” said Keane.
In response to this, Solskjaer talked of how he valued the former captain’s opinions and understood how he felt having been a Man United player himself.
"I've always, with Roy, had a great relationship with him, and how do you say, I value his opinion very highly. He has his opinion, we played together many years, he's a Man Utd guy as well so he hurts just as much as anybody else connected,” said Solskjaer.
After the defeat to Man City, Solskjaer was asked what he felt had changed since he took over permanently:
"You need to think long term, but you learn about players more and more, whether they've gone into a comfort zone, and who will be willing to sacrifice to take us forward? That's what I'm finding out, and those are the ones you want to continue with. You could see today some of the hunger, what it meant to them, but you have to do that every single game,” he explained, emphasizing on the need to have players with the state of mind to play in a Man United shirt.
Solskjaer also mentioned the need to have ‘right characters’ in the team.
"I want to be sure when we come back pre-season that I have the right characters in and around. When you are Man Utd, the highlight will be on you, the headlines, so you've got to make sure you come into work every day, and give the effort they gave today, that's your duty,"
"That's what you sign up for when you play for Man Utd, the expectation and the history. That's where we are now. We have to take it step by step, because you can't linger along. The Premier League is so competitive that you will be caught up by other teams as well," he concluded.
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