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"I think I’m getting there with my team" - Solskjaer defends defeat

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has dismissed criticism that his midfield lacks balan...


Sport

"I think I’m getting there with my team" - Solskjaer defends defeat


Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has dismissed criticism that his midfield lacks balance. 

He was speaking ahead of Sunday's Premier League trip to West Ham.

Solskjaer's game management has come under the microscope following Tuesday's 2-1 Champions League defeat away to Young Boys.

United started with Fred and Donny van de Beek at the base of their midfield in Bern on Tuesday evening, with the latter hauled off at half-time.

The Premier League giants were believed to be keen on West Ham's Declan Rice, prior to their deadline day acquisition of Cristiano Ronaldo.

But speaking on Thursday afternoon, Solskjaer insisted he was happy with the tools at his disposal.

"I’m not here to explain every single detail of how I want my team to play," he told a press conference, "We want central midfielder who can play.

"Today’s football is about 'he’s a good 6, 8, 10' - back in the day you had proper midfielders, Roy Keane, Paul Scholes, Bryan Robson.

"You see players out there who can attack and defend and that’s what we look for, midfielders who are complete and we try to develop that in our midfield.

"It's a balance between with how many you commit forward and how you defend because one little mistake and there’s a counter attack towards you.

"Overarching philosophy… I don’t sit here and claim and talk... football is a simple game and it's about making good decisions and being in a team.

"Sometimes we look too much into the all intricacies and it’s passion, it's desire. Who wants to win the ball? Which one of the striker has the desire to get on the end of crosses?

"You can talk about all sorts, it looks nice on paper. But when you go out on that pitch, it's who wants to win, that’s one of the big things. You want winners and I think I’m getting there with my team, team players."

Meanwhile, Solskjaer says United are working towards offering a new contract to Jesse Lingard.

The midfielder spent a successful loan spell last season at West Ham, but it was his mistake that led to Young Boys' winner on Tuesday.

“He’s got this season left of his contract, and the club is talking to him and his dad,” said Solskjaer.

“And we see him as a Man United player in the future as well. Jesse has come back to us after a great spell at West Ham.

“He showed his qualities, he’s got back into the England squad and he’s scoring goals for England.

“We really want to see the best of Jesse this season and we hope to see him, we support him, and we hope to keep him here with us. He’s a Red through and through.”

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Champions League Fred Manchester United Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Paul Pogba Young Boys

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