Manchester United isn’t near the first crisis of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s tenure as manager, but he is dealing with both his setback and the first chance to quickly turn the page.
United fell 2-0 at home to Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg on Tuesday, ending his 11-match and 10-win start to life at Old Trafford.
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To complicate the challenge, the Red Devils have a big FA Cup game and a massive match against despised rivals Liverpool in the Premier League.
So a crisis point of sorts could be coming to Ole’s time at OT, but he’s got a message for his men.
“We have to look forward. We’ve got Chelsea and Liverpool in the next two games,” Solskjaer said. “Whoever is feeling sorry for themselves they will not play, probably, against Chelsea.”
Digging a little deeper, Solksjaer’s hopes to be named permanent manager have been emboldened by his front-facing and optimistic attitude (which leans plenty on the past successes of United). An FA Cup Final is three wins away, and defeating Chelsea en route to the next round of its title defense would be a fine bounce back. And hurting Liverpool’s hopes of a first Premier League title would be sensational.
The reverse, of course, would be much worse. From Man Utd.com:
“No, not at all,” Solskjaer said. “I’m not afraid of that. We’ve got so many games to play for, so no. You can see the reaction in the changing room, they’re disappointed but there is some determination and desire there to put it right.”
As for the Champions League, Solskjaer said the club will aim to get to halftime of the second leg with at least a 1-0 lead. Another goal would force extra time, and then it’s all in play. But to do it without sent-off Paul Pogba is going to be difficult.