Under-fire Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was at training on Tuesday as the Manchester United manager prepares to lead the side to Tottenham amid intense scrutiny and pressure.
A poor recent run reached its nadir on Sunday when relentless rivals Liverpool ran amok and secured their biggest ever win at Old Trafford.
United put in a feeble display in a 5-0 defeat that left Solskjaer reflecting on his “darkest day” at the helm, with the side hitting “rock bottom” as his position became more precarious than ever.
But while speculation and introspection continues, the Norwegian is still expected be in charge for Saturday’s trip to Tottenham.
Preparations for that key Premier League game started on Tuesday, with a club source confirming Solskjaer was at Carrington for training after the players had a day off on Monday.
There will no doubt be some difficult conversations after a humiliating loss that provides the biggest test of the United hierarchy’s support for the 1999 treble hero, who they handed a new three-year deal to in the summer.
The defeat to Liverpool has led to some murmurings of discontent emanating from the dressing room, but the club will be hoping the pain and humiliation can be channelled in a positive manner as they look to turn things around.
Time will tell whether that is possible under the current management team, with Spurs kicking off an unenviable trio of matches that continues with a tricky Champions League group game against Atalanta.
That run is rounded off before the international break against rampant rivals Manchester City as Old Trafford welcomes fans for the first time since the Liverpool humbling.
“We have to sort the frame of minds out and make sure we go into the next training session and the next game in the right frame of mind,” Solskjaer said after Sunday’s loss.
“Manchester United have had tough times, difficult times before and they have always bounced back and taken on challenges. Last season we were second and this season we have started badly.
“You have to get through that one and then start building performances, start building results, start with clean sheets and see where that take us at the end of the season.”
If Solskjaer does leave, the current bookmakers’ favourite to come in as United manager is Antonio Conte.
The former Chelsea boss, who has won the league in England and Italy, is out of work since leaving Inter Milan in the summer, with his temperament admired by some but said to be concerning others.
Zinedine Zidane, the former Real Madrid head coach, is reportedly not interested in returning to management at United, while long-admired Mauricio Pochettino is now in work at Paris St Germain.
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