Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists he is not on loan after his humiliating 2-0 derby defeat to Manchester City at Old Trafford.
It was another sad home performance for United following Liverpool’s 5-0 defeat and fourth defeat in six Premier League games.
Solskjaer, who described the derby’s performance as “passive”, is now facing an enormous amount of pressure as speculations about his future builds.
Asked if he’s starting to feel like he’s on borrowed time, Solskjaer told Sky Sports: “No, I’m not starting to feel that way.
“I always have good communication with the club who are very direct and honest about the situation.”
Solskjaer hopes the national team break will offer some respite for his team, who were at the end of some harsh criticism in the Sky Sports study for their performance against City.
Roy Keane said he gave up on United players, singling out Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire, Eric Bailly, Fred and Aaron Wan-Bissaka for criticism, before warning Solskjaer that he couldn’t rely on this team.
“If you have bluffers on the bus with you and you depend on these guys, Ole, you might be better off outside,” the former United captain said, after admitting there were big question marks about Solskjaer’s whereabouts.
Unlike Keane, Solskjaer feels that the players at his disposal can take United where he wants them to be.
“I’m sure when we return the players will be fresh in their minds from the national teams and of course the demands on the players, on me, will be high,” added Solskjaer.
“We just have to go back to what we started to look like and who we were for a while. We have the players to do it.
“We’ve been through it a few times. Since the last game we played here [Liverpool defeat], it was a very difficult time and we moved away from what we were.
“We have to be ahead, I can’t look at myself and say this is the way I want Manchester United to play.”
Gary Neville admitted that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is under “enormous, enormous pressure” after Manchester United’s 2-0 defeat to Manchester City, but insisted the United boss is unlikely to be sacked mid-season.
After a relatively stable week – United beat Spurs 3-0 and drew 2-2 at the last minute with Atalanta – he returned to stasis on Saturday with just four touches in the City area.
“Ole is under enormous pressure, but the first thing that has to happen is that he needs a team with courage,” said Neville.
“Until the end of last season, the feeling here [at Old Trafford] was that there was a progression because they finished second in the championship. Everyone then thought they got their own recruitment in the summer.
So the club didn’t plan this. I know there are some United fans who think the club should have acted two weeks ago because Antonio Conte was available but this club would never have named Conte and they are not prepared for this moment because they have the plan behind Ole.
“I don’t think there is a possibility that there is a decision [on the manager] during this season unless it gets so bad and it gets to the point where it’s so bad. If Chelsea win today, they are 11 points off the top of the table [Chelsea drew, so United are 9 points behind] and this United team shouldn’t be [so far] off the top. Nobody expected it. No one would have expected United to sink that low at this point in the season.
“I think he has a few weeks to fix it.”