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'The Tree is Growing': Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Calls for Patience at Manchester United

Manchester United (Photo Credit: Reuters)

Manchester United (Photo Credit: Reuters)

Manchester United face Everton at Goodison Park in the Premier League.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer urged the clubs leadership to look at the bigger picture and avoid being too reactionary following two disappointing losses that have placed him under renewed scrutiny.

Solskjaer and Uniteds players are under mounting criticism in the wake of losing to Istanbul Basaksehir 2-1 in the Champions League on Wednesday, when incidents of shambolic defending were described by Solskjaer as unforgivable.

Before that, United lost to Arsenal 1-0 at Old Trafford to slump to 15th in the English Premier League. The team is without a win in its first four home games in the top-flight for the first time since 1972.

Solskjaer acknowledged he was under pressure heading into a league match at Everton on Saturday but said he maintains a good relationship with the clubs leadership the U.S.-based Glazer family and is still planning for the long term.

We planted a seed and the tree is growing, Solskjaer said. Some clubs just rip up that tree and see if it is still growing, see if it is still getting water underneath.

For me, I have had backing all the way, since Ive come in, on the bigger picture, and the club needs to look at the bigger picture. We cant go reacting to one or two results, we have to look further back at the direction were going.

Inconsistency is crippling United this season, with the latest defeats coming soon after the team beat Paris Saint-Germain and Leipzig two of last seasons Champions League semifinalists 2-1 and 5-0, respectively, in the space of a week.

I dont look at one or two results and fall like a house of cards, Solskjaer said.

Theres been too much made of, say, not scoring against Arsenal and Chelsea because theres been more or less nothing in those two games. Its not too long ago we were the best thing since sliced bread when you beat Leipzig and PSG, so theres ups and downs in football and thats just the way it has to be.

Goodison Park was the scene of what Solskjaer described as his lowest point as United manager a 4-0 loss in the league in April last year. A 2-0 loss at Everton in 2014 also proved to be David Moyes last match in charge of United after less than a year in charge.

You have to be mentally strong, Solskjaer said ahead of Uniteds latest trip to Goodison, which comes before a two-week break for international matches. Of course theres demands on a Man United player and a coach and a manager. Theres also an expectation because we are at the best and the biggest club in the world.

You dont expect to have anything but criticism then, its just how you deal with that, how you deal with that setback. From what Ive seen from the boys, theyve been very focused since weve come back, ready to give a response.


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