Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes a culture still has to be set at Old Trafford, and is confident he has the right group to help him do that.
Rebuilding Manchester United cannot be a quick fix and the club must avoiding reacting to outside noise, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said after a week in which the pressure on the Red Devils boss intensified.
After suffering a 2-0 defeat to Premier League leaders Liverpool at Anfield, United were stunned at home by Burnley, who won by the same scoreline in what marked the Clarets’ first league victory at Old Trafford since 1962.
United remain six points adrift of the top four and have yet to make a breakthrough in the transfer window, with negotiations with Sporting CP over Bruno Fernandes reported to have hit an impasse.
Solskjaer, though, continues to try to keep matters at the club in perspective, again insisting that a turnaround in United’s fortunes will take time.
He told a media conference ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup clash at Tranmere Rovers: “I think our fans know what we have started on, and I’ve been trusted to do that job by the club. For me that rebuild doesn’t go one way all the time.
“It doesn’t go ‘we’re doing great, we’re doing great, we’re winning games’. I’ve said it so many times, ups and downs.
“The foundation has to be laid and the culture has to be properly set and laid down. With this group I feel I have a good core of players that believe in themselves and believe in what we’re doing and I trust them to be the good lads carrying us forward, with some signings, with some players coming back from injury.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 24, 2020
Asked why United are apparently unable to spend vast sums of money like neighbours Manchester City, Solskjaer replied: “For me, we do have a way of doing things, you can see other teams have done well.
“You can see [Liverpool manager] Jurgen [Klopp] spent four years building his team and they’re doing well now.
“It’s not gonna be a quick fix, and it’s not eight or 10 players in in one transfer window. We’ve had one transfer window, proper one, because the Januarys, they are difficult, but we are still trying to do something now.”
It was put to Solskjaer that predecessors such as David Moyes and Louis van Gaal were not afforded the time to implement long-term plans, but he has heard nothing to suggest he will not be allowed to continue the rebuild.
“When you start on something you stick to that plan. I’m not going to change six eight, or nine or 10 months after I got the job and start believing in a different way,” said Solskjaer.
“I’m gonna stick to what I’ve been trusted to do by the club and hopefully that’ll be good enough and that they can see what we’re doing is right. We know how football is nowadays, but all my conversations with the club have been positive.
“We can’t react to all the noise outside, there’s always going to be criticism, you’ve got to take the criticism at this club, you’ve got to be stronger mentally probably than anywhere else in the world.
“I feel I am [strong], the club is strong, the staff I’ve got with me they’re very strong mentally, so we’re sticking to what we believe in. I’ve got full faith in what we’re doing.”