Manchester United chief backs Ole Gunnar Solskjaer amid long-term plan

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
(Image credit: PA)

Manchester United football director John Murtough has publicly backed the under-fire Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The Red Devils are fourth in the Premier League table at the time of writing, but a failure to beat Aston Villa and Everton in their last two games has increased the pressure on the manager.

Solskjaer also oversaw a 2-1 defeat by Young Boys on matchday one of the Champions League, while United were knocked out of the League Cup by West Ham.

The Norwegian has yet to win a trophy during his time in charge at Old Trafford, but Murtough insists he retains the full backing of the United hierarchy.

"[We] need to keep control, don’t get carried away, don’t deviate from our plan,” Murtough told a fans’ forum. 

“Ole and the staff are very focused on that. We have a long-term strategy and confidence in the direction that we’re going. We believe that we’ve got the talent and the character within the squad to succeed. 

"The Premier League is one of the most competitive leagues in the world – players from abroad and other [domestic] leagues tell us how [challenging] it is – but we are 100% up for that.

“[We] don’t get distracted by what’s said on social media, which can sometimes create fervour and hysteria. It’s part of the modern game, but we stay focused."

Murtough also discussed United's work in the transfer market and explained that he is continuing to plan for the future.

“We're aiming for consistency and continuity in recruitment. We have a full process in place, making sure we’re planned in what we do.

“Squad development is never-ending and constantly evolving. We're sitting down with Ole and we're talking about future plans in terms of where the squad will go and how we think it will develop.

“We want to balance squads with the right profile in terms of positions and in terms of age. 

"The current squad has good balance with young, exciting players coming through, and those in the middle in the prime of their careers. 

"And then you've the more experienced group – we can learn a lot from them, and they’re already having an impact on some of the younger players.

“We want a squad that can challenge today but also in the future as well.”

Subscribe to FourFourTwo today and get three issues delivered for just £3. The offer ends October 17, 2021.


RANKED The 50 best players of the 2000s

FIFA 21 How to beat any defender one-on-one using 'The Bridge' technique

FEATURE 12 of football's ludicrously short managerial reigns

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

FourFourTwo Staff

FourFourTwo was launched in 1994 on the back of a World Cup that England hadn’t even qualified for. It was an act of madness… but it somehow worked out. Our mission is to offer our intelligent, international audience access to the game’s biggest names, insightful analysis... and a bit of a giggle. We unashamedly love this game and we hope that our coverage reflects that.