Neville says former United team-mate must deliver silverware in 18 月
Three defeats in four games has heightened the scrutiny on Solskjaer and United’s mixed start to the season, with former team-mate Gary Neville claiming after Saturday 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa that a first trophy under the Norwegian is required in the next 18 月.
Neville also questioned United’s style of play, suggesting that they rely too heavily on individual moments from the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes when compared with rivals like Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea.
Solskjaer claimed not to have heard Neville’s remarks but admitted that the high-profile arrivals of Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho this summer have increased expectations at Old Trafford and that football is a “results business”.
“The pressure is a privilege. To work in this environment, you have to embrace that pressure,” Solskjaer said.
“If [Neville] says we have to win a trophy this season or the next because of the backing, I’ve got to say yes I’ve been backed and the progress and process has worked well.
“I have to say, the backing I have got, it seems to me we are sticking to that plan, but we are in a results business. We are here to win, we are here to get up there. Clearly we’ve improved, expectations have improved with our signings and with better performances.
“I’m here to win. Don’t think twice about that. Gary knows that and I speak to Gary as well. I know that here at this club, we have an obligation to win and we have an obligation to win in a certain style of play and play the way we want.
“Sometimes that’s risky and you lose one or two. Lately maybe we’ve lost one or two games, we changed the team in the Carabao Cup and the consequence is we’re out of the cup but that’s they way we do things and we’ll get there.
“Hopefully we’ll get there around April or May, challenging for these trophies that we’d like to see back at Old Trafford.”
United return to Champions League action on Wednesday night against Villarreal and are hoping to make up for lost ground, having fallen to defeat in their opening Group F meeting away to Young Boys.
Solskjaer also saw a second-string side knocked out of the EFL Cup by West Ham last week and United’s mixed fortunes have led to questions over their playing style and the Norwegian’s game management.
“Of course you are working on your style of play, working on patterns, your in possession game and your out of possession game,” Solskjaer said.
“The Aston Villa game, we broke up play really well defensively, we attacked maybe too fast – we want fast attacking play, Gary knows that, everyone that has been associated with Man United knows that we want to keep the tempo up and attack quickly when we can.
“Maybe we did it too fast as if you look at the stats, I don’t think I’ve seen any games with less efficient playing time. 45 minutes the ref gave us. 45 minutes effective playing time is probably one of the lowest I’ve seen, normally you’re up to 55-60.
“That’s maybe because we finished the attacks too quickly and same with Villa, they did. 所以, more control, then you slow it down too much and you might be against a low block again.
“We know Villarreal defend well and they’ll be hard to play against, we need to play quickly. But Gary knows the DNA here at the club and what we are trying to do.”