Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has insisted he will not resign, despite enduring his “darkest day” in the Old Trafford dugout as he watched his side thrashed 5-0 by Liverpool.
Pressure on the 48-year-old has been mounting in recent weeks amid a poor run of Premier League results, and a Mohamed Salah hat-trick fired their rivals towards an emphatic victory on Sunday.
Boos rang around Old Trafford at half-time as United found themselves 4-0 down at the break, with many supporters leaving early, while the second half saw another goal fly in and a red card for midfielder Paul Pogba.
Solskjaer, though, was defiant after the game, telling Sky Sports: “I do believe in myself, I do believe that I am getting close to what I want with the club.”
Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring their fifth goal and his hat-trick
Expectations were high for United this season after a summer which saw them sign England star Jadon Sancho, costing £73m, and the return of Cristiano Ronaldo.
But after nine Premier League games, United sit seventh with 14 points – eight behind leaders Chelsea, seven behind Liverpool in second, and six back on Manchester City.
Speaking to Sky Sports after their humiliation at the hands of Jurgen Klopp’s team, Solskjaer said: “It’s not easy to say something, apart from it’s the darkest day I’ve had leading these players.”
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“It’s mine [responsibly for the loss] – that’s it,” he added. “The coaching staff are brilliant, and I choose the way we approach the game and today, we weren’t clinical enough going forward. There were spaces for both teams, and when you give good players spaces, they score.
“You can look back at last season when we lost 6-1 to Spurs – this is miles worse. The opposition as well, that makes it miles worse for me as a Manchester lad, and we have to get over this as quick as we can and move on.”
Cristiano Ronaldo failed to make an impact on Sunday
Sunday’s loss was United’s third-largest home defeat in the Premier League.
When asked if he was still the right man to lead the team, Solskjaer replied: “We’ve come too far as a group, and we’re too close to give up now.
“I’ve heard nothing else [about a potential departure], and I’m still thinking about tomorrow’s work, of course. We’re all low. I can’t say now that I’ve felt any worse than this. This is the lowest I’ve been. But as I’ve said, I accept the responsibility, and that is mine today. It’s mine going forward.
“I do believe in myself, I do believe that I am getting close to what I want with the club, I think what we’ve done, what I’ve seen, the development, of course, the results lately haven’t been good enough. But I’ve got to keep strong, and I do believe in what we’ve been doing, the coaching staff and the players.”
A delighted Jurgen Klopp on the Old Trafford pitch
Solskjaer was appointed as United boss on a permanent basis in March 2019 after a successful spell as caretaker following the sacking of Jose Mourinho the previous December.
United have not won a trophy during his tenure and have not tasted any silverware since 2017.