Solskjaer: United players must raise their game or face the sack

Author: Kwame Larweh
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists he is still the right man to turn Manchester United around but accepts that some of his players have no future at Old Trafford.

The spectacular revival under Solskjaer has evaporated with six defeats in eight games, and hit a low point at the weekend when United were thrashed 4-0 at Everton.

Their hopes of a top-four finish now hang in the balance ahead of crucial home games against Manchester City and Liverpool, and Solskjaer accepts he has no option but to wield the axe this summer.

'I like all these boys, I love them, because they're great lads,' he said. 'But I've got to make decisions and manage for the club.

'I'm managing the club and helping the players but I manage for the club. We're going to put all our efforts into making sure we do what we think is right for the club.

'Of course, you learn about players and now is not the time to talk about making wholesale changes in the squad that's been doing so great.

'Man City and Liverpool have taken more points than us in the last 18 games and that's it. We were where we were when we came in and really gave it a go.

'You can see loads of Man United standards and DNA in these players, you have to get players in and some players will go out.'

Asked if he is the right man to leads the club forward, Solskjaer replied: 'Well I would like to say yes but it's not down to me to say that. I'm confident in my team and myself. I'll be ready to take this challenge on.

'I know it's a big challenge and that's why, when I came in here, I said I'm going to enjoy every single second. I don't like losing but it's a challenge all the managers at this club have had.

'When you go through bad results, you've got to be confident enough to say this is the way we're going to do it and plan ahead.'

United's torrid run
Premier League unless stated

March 10 Arsenal (A) L 0-2

March 16 Wolves (A, FA Cup) L 1-2

March 30 Watford (H) W 2-1

April 2 Wolves (A) L 1-2

April 10 Barcelona (H, Champions League) L 0-1

April 13 West Ham (H) W 2-1

April 16 Barcelona (A, Champions League) L 0-3

April 21 Everton (A) L 0-4

Solskjaer said that his focus has been on lifting his players for the derby rather than punishing them for their failings.

'We focus on Wednesday and sure we'll get a response,' he added. 'You don't punish them, as in run up to the mountains and back. We believe in them. These players know they let themselves down as individuals and as a team.

'Me as well. I'm in charge and I'm the one giving instructions on how we're going to play. It's my duty to get them performing better than that and I'm sure we'll get a response.

'There's always a crisis at Man United whenever you lose a game or two. City and Liverpool are the two teams who have taken more points in last 18 games. The boys have done fantastic.

'We've lost three out of the last five league games, that's a bit too many but that's football. You see Chelsea v Burnley and Arsenal v Palace, but the way we lost at Everton was the worst performance.'