EPL

Always pressure at Man Utd - Solskjaer confident of big response at Watford

By Sports Desk November 19, 2021

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes being under pressure at Manchester United is normal and vowed his players would produce a strong response against Watford.

United travel to Vicarage Road in the Premier League on Saturday amid huge speculation over Solskjaer's job security.

Demoralising home defeats against main rivals Liverpool and Manchester City have increased criticism of the United manager, with his team already nine points behind leaders Chelsea after 11 matches.

But asked if he felt safe in his job, Solskjaer replied: "Yeah, the players, the staff, myself, the club - we are working to one goal which is to improve and get better results.

"When you lose a game you are always disappointed and under pressure – we have been communicating openly and honestly. 

"The fans are still supporting the team and the club, they have been through this period and backed the team through the rebuild.

"There is one game that matters and this week has been really good for training.

"Form and performances haven't been good enough. We can do better, should do better and it's down to performances on the day. I am sure we will see a reaction."

Solskjaer believes a lack of confidence is hindering United but reminded his players that consistent runs of form are not too far in the rear-view mirror.

Watford have lost 12 of their 14 Premier League matches versus United - against no side have they lost more – and Solskjaer is optimistic going into the latest meeting.

The 48-year-old added: "We've been through periods like this before. Our away form, we have just gone 30-odd games and lost one. 

"Last season we turned it around and went on a run of 20-odd games and one defeat and that is the kind of run we need to get back.

"Human beings, sometimes you hit the post and it goes out, sometimes it goes in. That can affect the mood and atmosphere.

"We have got to focus on getting the start of the match right. It has been a very determined and focused group this week."

Solskjaer revealed he had spoken with the club hierarchy during the international break but stressed that was normal.

He added: "Of course, I've been in contact and communicated with the club as I do all the time anyway.

"It has been a long international break but it's one that we've utilised to our benefit, we feel it's been a good response from the players and we are ready for the Watford game.

"We have had a chance to work with a lot of players on quite a few things because of how many international drop-outs we had.

"The players love playing football and winning. When we left each other 13 days ago no one was happy when they left Old Trafford. But then there is another game."

Injured France duo Paul Pogba and Raphael Varane will be out for some time, but Solskjaer was optimistic about the rest of his squad.

"I've got to say this week has been really positive," added the Norwegian. "Of course, there are a couple of doubts with illnesses and small niggles.

"Paul is out still for a while, Raphael is out for a while still but apart from that, players will be coming back, call it in the near future - some this weekend and some during the week." 

Luke Shaw, Scott McTominay and Marcus Rashford have been involved in training this week, while Edinson Cavani is doubtful to feature.

United are winless in three Premier League matches against promoted teams after drawing against West Brom, Leeds and Fulham last season. Not since 1997 have they gone four such games without a victory.

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