MANCHESTER: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has warned Manchester United of the dangers of complacency as they prepare to face Brighton after beating Tottenham to extend their perfect record under the interim boss.
Solskjaer has won all six of his matches in charge since taking over from Jose Mourinho on December 19, and will look to keep that sequence going at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Arguably the most impressive victory in the sequence came last Sunday, when Tottenham were beaten 1-0 at Wembley thanks to a Marcus Rashford goal and an eye-catching goalkeeping display from David de Gea.
“As I’ve said before, you go into every single game as a Manchester United coach, as a player or manager, thinking you’ll win the next one, that’s just the nature of this club,” said Solskjaer.
“We’ve had six good games but the next one is the most important one. You cannot be too confident. It’s complacency you have to be wary of. It’s the other side of it.
“I want players to be confident but not be complacent and take their foot off the pedal because that’s a big difference for me. I want them go into games full of confidence, taking people on, getting the crowd with them because that’s what it’s about.”
Solskjaer has yet to see the best of forward Alexis Sanchez, who missed last Sunday’s win at Tottenham with a minor hamstring problem.
“He’s champing at the bit in training,” he said. He’s attitude has been fantastic in training and I’m looking forward to seeing him.”
The interim boss has played down the suggestion that he is responsible for coaxing better performances out of the players since last month’s departure of Mourinho, adding that he was confident the former United manager would be back in work soon.
He said: “Yeah, why shouldn’t he? He’s a fantastic manager and with the results he’s had I don’t think he’ll be struggling for work.”
– Fellaini injured –
Solskjaer said Marouane Fellaini is facing up to four weeks out of action with a calf injury.
The Belgium midfielder has made just two substitute appearances for United since Solskjaer replaced the sacked Jose Mourinho.
Newspaper reports this week suggested that Fellaini, who signed a two-year contract in June, would be allowed to leave during the January transfer window.
His injury would appear to have ended the prospect of that happening, while Solskjaer has given the midfielder some reassurance by suggesting that he has an “X-factor”.
“There’s an X-factor in different players. We all know Felli’s X-factor. He’ll be working hard to get back in when all the big games are coming as well.”
With Fellaini injured, Solskjaer has suggested that Scott McTominay’s chances of going out on loan may have receded.
Celtic have been in negotiations with United about taking the Scotland midfielder on loan, but the caretaker manager appears reluctant to sanction a deal.
He said: “Scott is working hard. He’s a young boy I still believe in. We’re working on his contract. With the injuries to Felli as well and the squad we have, I’m not sure we’re going to see any movement.” —AFP