Manchester United have lost three of their past four games in all competitions; Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side host Villarreal in the Champions League on Wednesday; Harry Maguire could be out for a ‘few weeks’ after being forced off during Saturday’s 1-0 Premier League defeat by Aston Villa
By Dan Sansom
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits expectations have increased at Manchester United this season but insists he is “here to win” and challenge for silverware.
United boss Solskjaer has faced fresh scrutiny after a 1-0 loss to Aston Villa in the Premier League on Saturday followed recent defeats by West Ham in the Carabao Cup and Young Boys in the Champions League.
The Norwegian, who signed a new three-year contract in July, was backed in the summer transfer window with the arrivals of Raphael Varane, Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo as United look to win their first major trophy since 2017.
However, those signings have increased the pressure on Solskjaer and speaking on his latest podcast, Sky Sports‘ pundit Gary Neville said his former side must win silverware in the next 18 months and learn to play like a team if they are to challenge for the title.
Asked about those comments from his ex-United team-mate ahead of facing Villarreal in the Champions League on Wednesday, Solskjaer said: “That pressure is a privilege. To work in this environment you have to embrace that pressure.
“I’ve got to say, yes I have been backed and the process has worked well. The backing I’ve got seems to me that we’re sticking to that plan, but we’re in a results business. We’re here to win.
“We’ve improved. Expectations have improved with the signings, with the better performances. I’m here to win, don’t think twice about that and Gary knows that.
“Of course, I speak to Gary as well and I know here at this club we have an obligation to win and we have an obligation to win in a certain style of play.
“Sometimes that’s risky and you lose one or two. Lately we’ve lost one or two games, we changed the team in the Carabao Cup and you’re out of the cup, that’s the consequence, but we’ll get there.
“Hopefully, we’ll get there around April or May, challenging for the trophies we’d like to see back at Old Trafford.”