Gary Neville sends message to Man United fans about Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Gary Neville delivers his verdict on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's situation at Man United after their derby defeat
Gary Neville admits that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is under “massive, massive pressure” – but says he’d be surprised if Manchester United sacked him this season.
The Norwegian found himself in the firing line once again after his Manchester United side were beaten 2-0 by derby rivals Manchester City at Old Trafford on Saturday.
That result has left Manchester United down in sixth place in the Premier League table and nine points behind leaders Chelsea FC heading into the international break.
Manchester United have struggled to find consistent form this season and they have dropped points in four of their last five outings in the top flight, winning five of their 11 games in the Premier League.
The hope had been for the Red Devils to challenge for the Premier League title this season after they finished second last term and brought in some quality new players in the summer transfer window.
However, the pressure is firmly on Solskjaer with his side off the pace in the race for the top-flight title.
Former Manchester United full-back Neville admits that Solskjaer is now under intense pressure at Old Trafford, but he is not expecting to see the club wield the axe this season.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Neville said: “Ole is under massive, massive pressure but the first thing that has to happen is that he needs a team with courage.
“Up to the end of last season, the feeling here [at Old Trafford] was that there was progression because they finished second in the league. Everyone then thought that they got their recruitment right in the summer.
“So the club has not planned for this. I know there are some United fans who think the club should have acted two weeks ago because Antonio Conte was available but this club was never going to appoint Conte and they are not prepared for this moment because they have the plan behind Ole.
“I don’t think there is any chance there will a decision [on the manager] during this season unless it gets so bad and it is getting to the point where it is so bad.
“They are 11 points off the top of the league if Chelsea win today [Chelsea drew, so United are 9 points behind] and this United squad should not be [so far] off the top. Nobody has expected this. Nobody would have expected United would sink so low at this point in the season.
“I think he has a few weeks to sort it out.”
Reflecting on his team’s performance in the 2-0 derby defeat at Old Trafford, Solskjaer admitted that his side must improve quickly.
“It’s disappointing, of course,” said Solskjaer. “It’s hard to talk at the moment. We play against a good team, don’t forget that, but we were nowhere near what our standards and levels can be and that’s something we have to get back to.
“We’ve got to go back to being on the front foot, be more aggressive, maybe circumstances have made us a little bit more cautious and passive.”
Manchester United will take on Watford away from home in their next Premier League game on 20 November.