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Manchester United still want Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to succeed and haven’t indicated a change of manager is on the cards, it has been claimed. The Red Devils have been linked with several candidates amid their poor form under the Norwegian. But he’s now expected to oversee his side’s Premier League showdown with Watford at Vicarage Road on Saturday.
United have been dire under Solskjaer of late, with the club losing six of their last 12 matches across all competitions.
That’s included humblings to Liverpool and Manchester City at home, as well as a chastening defeat to Leicester at the King Power Stadium.
As a result, United are now being linked with plenty of different managers.
Brendan Rodgers appears to be the frontrunner for the post but speaking on Thursday, made it known he was happy at Leicester.
Erik ten Hag, Mauricio Pochettino and Luis Enrique are also admired though they’re currently committed to Ajax, Paris Saint-Germain and the Spain national team respectively.
And Zinedine Zidane, while a dark horse for the job, appears to be holding out for the France national team instead.
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Now, The Athletic’s David Ornstein has opened up on the situation at Old Trafford.
And he’s claimed the board are determined for Solskjaer to succeed, while suggesting he may be given ‘as long as possible’ to turn things around.
“One thing that’s clear is United’s board want him to succeed,” he said on Football Daily.
“Given that they gave him a new long-term contract only in July that runs until July 2024 with an option of a further year.
“They’ll be desperate to get through until at least the summer before making a change.
“And while United are five points off the top four, and in the Champions League, they’ll want to give it as long as possible.
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“There are whispers they’re doing work behind the scenes, looking at other candidates.
“I don’t know that but I’d be surprised if they or another club weren’t. It’s important to be doing managerial due diligence in any situation in case you need to act.
“And I can’t imagine what it will be like if they’re to lose to Watford tomorrow. I think that will take this pressure up several notches and I’m not sure he’d survive that.
“But I don’t know that for a fact. And there’s no indication from United yet that a change will happen ‘imminently’, it’s a desperate situation.”
If United are forced into sacking Solskjaer, he’ll become the fourth managerial casualty of the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era.
David Moyes was the first, lasting just 10 months before being relieved of his duties in 2014.
Louis van Gaal was then axed two years later, despite winning the FA Cup, having failed to win the Community Shield.
And Jose Mourinho was axed in December 2018 after sucking the life out of the place.
Andy Cole, meanwhile, has defended Solskjaer and insisted he, like his predecessors, has done a ‘good job’.
“The flak that Ole gets disappoints me,” he said.
“I don’t think any manager should take that kind of flak; whether it’s United or non-league.
“I think they are trying to work to the best of their ability. He’s trying like everybody else who tried previously.
“Whether he is my ex-team-mate or not, even if it was someone I didn’t know, I wouldn’t like people to talk about them like that.
“But I don’t like it because when I played with him I got on very well with him. To see him in this position now doesn’t sit well with me.
“We all want Manchester United to be back where they were, but that takes time.
“We can talk about ‘how much longer?’ But the previous managers have found themselves in the same position. The stick that Ole takes is, at times, not nice.
“Things are never going to be easy for a club like Manchester United. To succeed Sir Alex Ferguson was always going to be difficult for whichever manager takes over – and what are we now, four managers in?
“And we are still talking about United not being in the position they would like to be.
“But other teams have got to move forward. Look how long it took Liverpool to win the league.
“I’m not saying United are going to be in that position, but you can’t be kept by history.
“Manchester United have to get stronger as a team and go from there.
“United are four managers in; all the managers that have gone before have done a good job as well. Unfortunately they have not been able to get them back to where they were.”
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