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Ole Gunnar Solskjær insists he does not fear for job after flurry of sackings

The Guardian logo The Guardian 4 days ago Jamie Jackson
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer of Manchester United speaks during a press conference at Aon Training Complex on December 03, 2019 in Manchester, England. (Photo by John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images) © 2019 Manchester United FC MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer of Manchester United speaks during a press conference at Aon Training Complex on December 03, 2019 in Manchester, England. (Photo by John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Ole Gunnar Solskjær says he does not fear the sack as Manchester United manager despite Unai Emery, Quique Sánchez Flores and Mauricio Pochettino recently being removed from their jobs.

Solskjær has won only four of 14 league matches this season in United’s worse start since 1988-89. The Norwegian was asked whether, given the removal of Emery by Arsenal, Flores by Watford and Pochettino by Tottenham, he was concerned he could follow.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with Marcus Rashford after the final whistle during the Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. (Photo by Martin Rickett/PA Images via Getty Images) © PA Wire/PA Images Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with Marcus Rashford after the final whistle during the Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. (Photo by Martin Rickett/PA Images via Getty Images) “No, it doesn’t make me more concerned,” he said. “I’m just focusing on my job and that’s doing as well as I can [and] look forward to the next game, and look at long-term planning things with the board. It’s that time of year – never nice to see your colleagues lose their job in a very short space of time.

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“We’ve had too many draws [six] for my liking, defeats [too] of course. But draws we should have turned into wins and football is a results business. We’re not happy; we can do better and are working hard. The work we do is always geared on us improving but we’re not getting all the results we’ve deserved.”

Soccer Football - Europa League - Group L - Astana v Manchester United - Astana Arena, Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan - November 28, 2019  Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and players applaud fans after the match   REUTERS/Pavel Mikheyev © Thomson Reuters Soccer Football - Europa League - Group L - Astana v Manchester United - Astana Arena, Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan - November 28, 2019 Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and players applaud fans after the match REUTERS/Pavel Mikheyev United have 18 points, eight behind fourth-placed Chelsea and sixth above Southampton in the final relegation berth. Yet Solskjær said he had not sought reassurances from Ed Woodward, the executive vice-chairman.

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“We speak all the time, so it’s not like knee-jerk suddenly now we need to talk,” he said. “So it’s [about] continually progressing, the plans we’ve put in place, the rebuilding we know we started. We made some decisions that were necessary and now of course we’re not happy where we are but will continue working.”

HUDDERSFIELD, ENGLAND - MAY 05: Ole Gunnar Solskjær of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Huddersfield Town and Manchester United at John Smith's Stadium on May 05, 2019 in Huddersfield, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ben Early/Getty Images) © 2019 Ben Early HUDDERSFIELD, ENGLAND - MAY 05: Ole Gunnar Solskjær of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Huddersfield Town and Manchester United at John Smith's Stadium on May 05, 2019 in Huddersfield, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ben Early/Getty Images) José Mourinho returns to Old Trafford on Wednesday as manager of Tottenham and Solskjær believes his predecessor will receive a warm welcome.

“A very good reception,” he predicted. “That’s just a testament to this club and these supporters, remembering he was here for two and a half years and won trophies, I’m 100% sure out fans, staff and club will welcome him.”

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer acknowledges the fans after the final whistle during the Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. (Photo by Martin Rickett/PA Images via Getty Images) © PA Wire/PA Images Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer acknowledges the fans after the final whistle during the Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. (Photo by Martin Rickett/PA Images via Getty Images) Paul Pogba is not fit to face Spurs as he continues recovering from an ankle injury. “He’s still a bit away but working hard so let’s see – he’s out on the grass,” the manager said.

Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic may also still be unavailable because of injuries. Solskjær said they were “touch and go”.

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