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"Clearly we've improved" - Solskjaer responds to Neville comments

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes the club are on course to win a first tro...



Soccer

"Clearly we've improved" - Solskjaer responds to Neville comments

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes the club are on course to win a first trophy of his tenure. 

The club are still awaiting their first piece of silverware under the Norwegian, and were dumped out of the Carabao Cup by West Ham last week.

Earlier this week, former United defender Gary Neville said the club need to start delivering considering the amount of money that's been invested in the first team.

"When I look at Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City, they are teams and put team performances in," Neville said.

"That is not to say United never do but Ole has got them now into a team.

"I said two weeks ago, and this was not to put pressure on Ole, that it was make or break with the Ronaldo signing.

"That is not me putting pressure on players or the manager, it is a matter of fact."

Speaking ahead of Wednesday's Champions League group game with Villareal, Solskjaer largely agreed with Neville's assessment.

"If he said we need to win a trophy this season or next because of the backing, I've got to say yes I have been backed and the process has worked well, [with] the backing I’ve got seems to me that we’re sticking to that plan," Solskjaer told his pre-match press conference.

"But we’re in a results business, we’re here to win. Clearly we’ve improved, expectations have improved with the signings and the better performances.

"I’m here to win, Gary knows that, I speak to Gary and I know that as this club we have an obligation to win and to win with a certain style of play.

"Sometimes that’s risky, maybe we’ve lost one or two recently, we changed the team in the Carabao Cup, but that’s the way we do things, we’ll get there and hopefully we’ll get there in April or May when we’re challenging for these trophies that we'd like to see back at Old Trafford."

Saturday's 1-0 Premier League defeat at home to Aston Villa was United's third loss in four games.

It led to further criticism of Solskjaer's tactical nous, or lack thereof, but the former Cardiff City manager says they're continuing to fine-tune their approach in training.

"The Villa game we broke up play really well defensively, attacked maybe too fast," he said, "We want a fast attacking play, Gary knows that, everyone who has been associated with Manchester United knows we want to keep the tempo up and attack quickly when we can, maybe we did it too fast.

"If you look at the stats I don’t think I’ve seen a game with less playing time, there was 45 minutes effective playing time, normally it’s 55 or 60.

"Maybe that’s because we finished the attacks too quickly, same with Villa. [We can have] more control, but if you slow it down too much it might be against a low block then and we know Villarreal defend well and can be hard to play against.

"We need to play quickly. Gary knows what DNA is here at the club and what we’re trying to do."

United will be without Harry Maguire for Wednesday's repeat of last season's UEFA Europa League final, and perhaps for a number of games beyond that.

The centre-back was withdrawn during the defeat to Villa, and Solskjaer updated the media on Maguire's prognosis on Tuesday.

"It's his [Maguire's] calf and that might take a few weeks, so let's see how quickly he recovers," the United boss said, "He was hoping to play against Villarreal, he missed the last game we played against them, but that's football.

"With Aaron [Wan Bissaka] suspended, we'll have to make a few changes"

N’Golo Kanté ruled out of Chelsea’s Champions League clash with Juventus

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Gary Neville Harry Maguire Manchester United Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

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