Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he is no stranger to crisis and will keep fighting for his job as scrutiny on the Manchester United manager intensifies.
The United manager’s position remains safe for now after the 5-0 thrashing by Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday, but there is a section of players who have doubts about his capability to take the club forward.
Saturday 30th October 5:00pm
Solskjaer insists he remains “focused as ever” despite all the speculation around his future and has been pleased by the response of his players ahead of Saturday’s trip to Tottenham in the Premier League, live on Sky Sports.
“I’ve been through some very bad moments here as a player, when I’ve been a coach and a manager as well,” said Solskjaer. “I’ve had to deal with setbacks.
“There have been two or three crises, at least, since I became the manager here. One thing I can say is, I’ll always give it a good shot and fight back.
“It’s been a difficult week of course, we’ve had to deal with the result and performance against Liverpool.
“That’s something footballers have to deal with, and we have to look forward to the next game and make sure we are ready for that game. We’ve had a good week on the training field.”
Sir Alex Ferguson’s presence at Carrington drew lots of attention this week, with reports claiming he was fighting for Solskjaer to keep his job in a crisis meeting as stories emerged that Antonio Conte was being lined up to take over.
However, Solskjaer has clarified that his former manager’s date at the training ground was pre-arranged.
“We had a commercial date, and Sir Alex came to do some commercial stuff,” said Solskjaer. “I met him and spoke to him just for a brief moment because he was in there with Cristiano Ronaldo.
‘Punch drunk’ United needed to be like Tyson Fury
Solskjaer has compared Sunday’s dismal performance by his side to that of a boxer scrambling to their feet after being knocked down.
He felt his players were left shocked by Liverpool’s early goal and lost their composure as they rushed to level things up, having seen Bruno Fernandes miss a big chance to take the lead just moments before.
Solskjaer offered up world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, who happens to be a United fan, as a template for how his players should have responded.
“Of course, we have to hold our hands up, that performance was not acceptable,” he said.
“I used the analogy that it felt like we were a boxer being punch drunk, knocked down in the first round. We had a chance, we conceded a goal and wanted to sort it out, and we went a bit too open and frantic against a good team.
“You see Tyson Fury when he gets knocked down, it’s remarkable how calm and composed he is when he is on the floor.
“Counts to six, seven, eight and then he gets up and he is ready to go again. Maybe we got up too early and tried to sort it.”
Watch Tottenham vs Manchester United live on Sky Sports Premier League from 5pm on Saturday; kick-off 5.30pm.