Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists he will be successful at Manchester United and vows not to “fall like a house of cards” after back-to-back defeats.
United are 15th in the Premier League table with only two wins from six matches and are reeling from a 2-1 defeat to Istanbul Basaksehir in the Champions League on Wednesday – three days after losing 1-0 to Arsenal.
Those results have brought Solskjaer’s position under scrutiny, but United have no plans to replace him despite reports linking former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino with the manager’s role at Old Trafford.
Asked if he is certain of being successful at the club, Solskjaer said: “Yeah, why wouldn’t I be?
“If I don’t trust my beliefs and values, my staff’s qualities and the quality of my players, who else should?
“I don’t look at one or two results and fall like a house of cards. It’s a setback, definitely, but I think there’s been too much made of not scoring against Arsenal and Chelsea, because there’s been more or less nothing in those two games. “It’s not long ago that we were the best thing since sliced bread when we beat RB Leipzig and Paris Saint-Germain.
“There’s ups and downs in football and that’s just the way it has to be and you’ve got to have that belief in yourself and belief in the players.
“From what I’ve seen from the boys, they’ve been very focused since we’ve come back and are ready to give a response.
“You don’t have to be happy to still stay positive. On difficult days in life, you know there will be better ones coming. I know these players well enough and I trust them enough to respond.”
United have suffered their worst start to a league season since the David Moyes era and are just four points above the relegation zone at this early stage.
Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson believes the game at Goodison Park is Solskjaer’s “biggest of his managerial career”, but the United boss says pressure is expected when representing the “biggest club in the world”.
“I’ve always had a very good, open, honest and positive dialogue with the club. They’ve shown strong leadership and I’ve had good dialogue continually since I came in,” Solskjaer added.
“Of course, there’s always pressure and expectations on us but I’ve grown up here and I became a man at Manchester United.
“I’ve learned how to deal with good and bad times. You’re a top coach or manager when you win and you’re bad when you lose, because you’re not really better than your last game.
“Every game of football becomes history quickly and we’ve just got to go into Goodison Park in a positive frame of mind.
“You have to be mentally strong. There’s demands on a Manchester United player, coach and manager and there’s also expectation because we are the best and biggest club in the world.
“You don’t expect to have anything but criticism. It’s just how you deal with it and how you deal with those setbacks.”
“From what I’m being told, Manchester United still see Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as a long-term project and somebody who should be given the backing and support to do this job. I don’t think anything’s changed.
“What’s their reaction to the last couple of days? I think it’s not good. A week ago, we were all saying what an amazing coach and how things have changed under Solskjaer.
“He out-thought RB Leipzig when they won 5-0 at Old Trafford and everything seemed to be changing. The flipside to that is, how on earth did those players beat Leipzig 5-0 and then put in the performances that we’ve seen over the last couple of games?
“There are major question marks. You saw Solskjaer – he was furious with what happened in Istanbul. He protected his players, didn’t criticise them too much. But I think you can see that he’s expecting a big turnaround against Everton at the weekend.
“We have been here before but most Manchester United fans would tell you, when he needs a result, he gets one. But going to Everton at the weekend won’t be easy. November is a sticky time for managers post Sir Alex Ferguson.
“This time last year, there were the same questions against Solskjaer. The message from United is that they’re backing Solskjaer. He is the man for the long-term, but things do need to improve on the pitch.
“Everybody will be looking at Goodison Park on Saturday lunchtime to see what kind of Manchester United team do turn up. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be leading that team.
“He needs a performance and he also needs a result against Everton.”