(Reuters) – Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is confident he is the right man to take the club forward despite a shaky start to the Premier League season, the 46-year-old has said.
United are 11th in the standings with eight points after six games but the Norwegian said he can get the 20-times champions to once again compete with holders Manchester City and leaders Liverpool.
“I’m not doubting myself. If I doubted myself, then I think the rest of the world would as well,” Solskjaer told reporters ahead of Monday’s league clash with Arsenal.
“We have loads of discussions as a club and believe in what we are doing … the top two last season (City and Liverpool) were too far ahead from the rest of us.
“But I think we should be in and around the places behind there. Chelsea are going through a similar period of rebuilding. There’s Arsenal, Tottenham, us, Leicester. There are loads of teams wanting those positions and that’s where we’ll be.”
United have struggled to replicate the form that helped Solskjaer become their permanent manager in March, with the club getting five wins in 18 matches since.
Much of the criticism levelled at Solskjaer recently has been over his failure to replace Romelu Lukaku after he left for Italian Serie A side Inter Milan last month. The Belgian was joined by Alexis Sanchez on loan shortly after.
Injuries to Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford have left Solskjaer with 17-year-old Mason Greenwood as his only recognised striker for the clash at Old Trafford.
Solskjaer suggested reinforcements could arrive in January when the transfer window reopens.
“Of course, when we let Alexis and Lukaku go, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know it’s a forward we’re going to try to recruit next time,” Solskjaer added.
“It was time for Lukaku to go – he knows that, he didn’t want to be here and what’s the point in having players who don’t want to be here?
“We’re looking for creativity and goals, but they (potential signings) have to be the right one.”
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)