Manchester United saw one of the lowest points in their recent history last weekend when they were hammered 5-0 by Liverpool in the Premier League. Ever since the final whistle was blown at Old Trafford, the job of under-fire boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been widely believed to be hanging by a thread.
The one-sided defeat at the hands of Jurgen Klopp’s men marked the fourth-straight league game without a win for United – and Solskjaer is fully aware that he needs a positive result as he takes his team to Tottenham on Saturday evening.
The 48-year-old Norwegian, though, doesn’t subscribe to the theory that his fate is already sealed.
Reports have swirled all week that United chiefs are already working on identifying potential replacements, with ex-Chelsea boss Antonio Conte heavily linked to the role should Solskjaer be shown the door at the Theatre of Dreams.
In a candid interview with Sky Sports, Solskjaer defiantly rejected any suggestion that he was not the right man to lead United out of their current slump.
“I don’t expect them to come out and defend a performance like this [vs Liverpool],” Solskjaer said of the club’s board. “We’re in a poor run of form.
“My 18 years at the club are not gonna be defined by these few weeks,” he vowed.
Pointing to his experiences as a player at Old Trafford – where he famously won the Champions League – Solskjaer insisted that he is more than equipped to deal with the pressure of United’s situation at present.
“I’ve had ups and downs as a player and as a manager. I’ve had setbacks. That’s what we do at the club. I’ve always made sure that I fight back.
“I’m going to go all-in now for a result [against Tottenham] on Saturday. That’s the only thing we can do. We need a reaction. We need a result.”
Watch: Solskjaer speaks candidly on his Man Utd future
When asked directly if he can turn things around at the club, Solskjaer replied: “I believe in myself. But it’s not about me, this. It’s about moving forward. It [the defeat to Liverpool] is rock bottom when you lose to your rival in that way.
“As a player, I lost 5-0 to Newcastle, then 6-3 to Southampton. In between, we lost our first-ever home game in the Champions League group stage. That was my first season at the club and you learn so much about how winners react to adversity.
“I’m strong enough. I never give up,” Solskjaer concluded.
The United manager’s resolve is admirable. With that said, he surely can’t afford another disastrous performance against Spurs if he is to continue his United tenure long-term.
It seems it’s either now or never for Ole.
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