Solskjaer makes top six claim as United slump again

Manchester United
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits Manchester United will struggle to make the top six if their current poor form continues.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits Manchester United will struggle to make the top six if their current poor form continues.

United’s season continues to go from bad to worse after they suffered a 1-0 defeat against a Newcastle side, who had been hammered 5-0 by Leicester City just the week before.

Matty Longstaff was the hero for the Magpies as he smashed home a 73rd-minute winner to leave United in big trouble and even more pressure on Solksjaer heading into the international break.

The Red Devils’ run without an away victory extended to 11 games in all competitions and they have won just two games out of eight in the Premier League to leave them sitting 12th in the standings.

They are 15 points behind leaders Liverpool and five off the top six, and the Norwegian admits they will struggle to get there, never mind the top four.

The win was thoroughly deserved for Newcastle, as the visitors, who failed to muster a shot on target against AZ Alkmaar on Thursday evening, once again proved blunt in attack and were made to pay for it.

Solskjaer cut a frustrated figure as he assessed the wreckage of a defeat which leaves them in a poor position heading into the break.

The Norwegian said: “We have given ourselves a very, very tough task to get into the top six, never mind top four, and we’ve got to get results straight away.

“We need to get on a run, get momentum. I can’t give you what’s acceptable – every game should be one that we should look to win at this club.”

Things might have been different had defender Harry Maguire buried a free header on the stroke of half-time – but his manager did not attach too much blame to the £80million summer signing.

“Yes, but that’s football. I missed bigger chances, seriously,” Solskjaer added.

“If you’re 2-0 up and your team is winning every game, he’ll close his eyes and score on that one. At the moment, it’s just not going for us and Harry knows he could have, should have scored. We know it’s a big opportunity, a big moment in the game.”

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