Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: Man Utd boss says tough week has brought club closer together | Football News

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says the 3-0 win over Tottenham has helped bring about a siege mentality at Manchester United following a difficult week caused by their humiliating defeat to Liverpool.

The United boss’ position has come under increased scrutiny following the 5-0 loss to Jurgen Klopp’s team, a day which the Norwegian described as his “darkest” yet as the club’s manager.

A comfortable victory over Tottenham, which led in part to the sacking of their head coach Nuno Espirito Santo, has alleviated some of that pressure, but Solskjaer acknowledges that more positive results must be delivered to get their season back on track.

Ahead of United’s trip to Atalanta in the Champions League, Solskjaer said: “Criticism can make you doubt yourself or you can stand up for yourself. I’ve always enjoyed it, keep it coming.

“We’ve all got different jobs and it is their [pundits and former players] jobs to give their opinion. I am not here to fight with anyone.

“That’s fine. Journalists, pundits, experts, we all have different jobs.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Solskjaer is targeting consistent form after three defeats and a draw in their previous seven games

When asked whether the challenging week following the defeat to Liverpool has fostered more unity at the club, Solskjaer replied: “It has.

“We don’t have time for anybody to sulk, if you’re not in the starting XI you are there to support your team-mates.

“The attitude was spot on [versus Tottenham]. Players want to play, nobody is happy when they don’t. It is the team before any individual.

“The next one is the one which matters. We know when we get consistency we will get results, one swallow does not make a summer.

“It is a chance tomorrow to prove we can go again.”

Solskjaer confirmed that he expects to have a fully fit squad for the trip to Atalanta, although a “couple of little twinges” were reported in training on Monday, which the club will monitor ahead of the game.

He explained: “We are looking alright in the training session this morning.

“Everyone was on there. There were a couple of little twinges in the training session but I don’t think they will be major.”

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After a dream start to life at Tottenham, Nuno Espirito Santo quickly saw performances and results fall away

‘Never nice to see managers lose their jobs’

While Solskjaer’s tenure at Old Trafford has been questioned recently, Tottenham head coach Santo was relieved of his duties on Monday after four months in charge.

Four defeats in their last six Premier League games led to his dismissal and former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is in advanced talks with the club’s hierarchy over a move to north London on an 18-month contract.

Solskjaer showed sympathy towards his managerial counterpart Santo after Spurs’ loss to United cost the Portuguese his job.

He said: “Of course [I have sympathy with Nuno].

“It’s never nice to see men, good men, lose their jobs. He’s been working hard.

“I don’t know what the situation has been or is at Tottenham so I can’t comment too much, but as a colleague you’re never happy when that happens – you try to get in touch with him and tell him your feelings.”

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‘Atalanta have a special style’

Cristiano Ronaldo’s winner completed a thrilling second-half comeback against Atalanta at Old Trafford last month, a victory which sent United top of Group F after three games played.

Solskjaer’s side travel to the Geweiss Stadium in Bergamo to face Gian Piero Gasperini’s team who are fifth in Serie A and unbeaten in their last four league games.

Cristiano Ronaldo reacts during Manchester United's match vs Atalanta
Cristiano Ronaldo was on the scoresheet in Man Utd’s previous two victories

They demonstrated their attacking threat against United with early goals from Mario Palasic and Merih Demiral in the reverse fixture, and Solskjaer is wary of the danger the Italian side pose ahead of their meeting on Tuesday.

He said: “Atlanta have a special style, attacking, aggressive, the coach shines that energy.

“It is also exciting to watch and we have followed them for a while. What they have done in the last five years has been remarkable.

“Atalanta are a team with a unique style of play and still believe in themselves. It is always little things they might try to do differently to win any game.

“We are the same as them, you always try to cause problems for the opposition.”

BERGAMO, ITALY - OCTOBER 30: Gian Piero Gasperini head coach for Atalanta B.C. reacts during the Serie A football match between Atalanta and Lazio at Gewiss Stadium on OCTOBER 30, 2021 in Bergamo, Italy. (Photo by Stefano Nicoli/Speed Media/Icon Sportswire)
Gian Piero Gasperini says his Atalanta side showed ‘personality’ in the 3-2 defeat at Old Trafford

Atalanta boss: United a work in progress

United are a team under construction but Atalanta must be wary of their potential in the Champions League return match, their head coach Gian Piero Gasperini has said.

He told a news conference on Monday: “United seem to be a team in construction that still has some things to work out. But they have considerable potential.

“They might be jumping from a defeat to an impressive win, but that does not take anything away from their potential.

“Tomorrow will be a completely different game compared to our first meeting.

“From that game our personality has stayed with us, in a stadium packed with 70,000 people. We had some very good moments, at other times we had to suffer.”

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