Solskjær unconcerned with United’s league position for now
Manager says focus is on getting some consistency into good performances each week
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with Marcus Rashford after the final whistle during the Premier League draw with Aston Villa at Old Trafford. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Ole Gunnar Solskjær said Manchester United’s league position was not important at the time being after Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Aston Villa at Old Trafford left his team ninth with 18 points. “I wouldn’t have sat here and talked about us being fifth if we had got that one goal extra, so the league table at this point is not the biggest concern because it is so tight,” he said.
“I just need to make sure we get performances and get three or four performances after each other. What I can say is we have had the lead in so many games and we haven’t been able to win; six or seven times we’ve been 1-0 up, or 2-1 or 3-2. We should be better at seeing those games into wins.”
Since he was made permanent manager in late March United have won six out of 22 matches. Asked what evidence there is that this form can be arrested, Solskjær was defiant.
“I think there’s loads of evidence these boys are closer to winning games than losing games,” he said. “To tip margins in our favour we’ve got to work on different things. The first half wasn’t good enough. I am disappointed in that because all the [regularly selected] boys stayed here, while the young boys went over to Kazakhstan [last week to play Astana].
“We didn’t go out together [against Villa] as a team. We should have done better. These boys will learn and improve. Sometimes inconsistency will happen with young boys. We have to become a better unit. Aston Villa had too many counterattacks for my liking.”
United fell behind to an 11th-minute Jack Grealish opener before Marcus Rashford equalised just before the interval. While Victor Lindelöf put the home side ahead on 64 minutes, Tyrone Mings equalised within 120 seconds. With the score at 1-1 Grealish missed a clear chance to put Villa ahead. The Villa manager, Dean Smith, said: “He knows more than anybody that nine times out of 10 he scores that. He’ll be pleased because of his goal but he won’t sleep because of that miss.” – Guardian