Solskjaer highlights how United must improve
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer states his young Manchester United players must start working problems out for themselves, to accelerate the team's progression this season.
Historic rivals Liverpool and Manchester City have cornered the recent market in the hunt for major trophies, while the Reds take steps towards becoming a competitive force once again.
After Tuesday's Carabao Cup defeat to the Blues at Old Trafford, the boss explained there is one way his squad can take giant strides in that quest.
“I have said before that it is not going to be a quick fix,” Solskjaer told reporters at the post-match press conference. “You are talking about two of the best teams in the world, in Europe. That is the task we have ahead of us.
"It is something we have started. You can see we are still a way off but we have started something that needed doing.”
United were 3-0 down against City before recovering some pride with a Marcus Rashford goal in the second half.
Solskjaer was encouraged by that response, but wants his players to react to setbacks in a faster fashion, rather than waiting for his intervention at half-time.
“It is natural that your head goes down when you are not performing. But we have to get out of it quicker,” he said.
“We have to get to that second half mentality (against City) quicker. It can’t be me, or us, coming in at half time.
“From the first goal to half time we just couldn’t cope with that setback. We let them play and our heads dropped. We just made decisions that we shouldn’t do. That needed sorting at half time and the second half was a good response.
“We have a young team who are learning. I have said it many times and it is not going to change between every press conference. I am still in that phase where I have a young team that is learning.
“These experiences must stick. And they will stick. The second half gives me, at least, something to believe in. That was respectable, it was a good second half.”
The boss believes United’s 45 minutes after the interval provides some hope for the second leg at the Etihad Stadium on 29 January.
“You come into half-time with that result and the word pride is the one word you speak about at half time,” he said.
“Make sure you win the second half and you are in the tie. It is a difficult task that we have got in front of us, but that second half at least gave us something to hang onto. After that second half we have something that we can believe in.
“Even though it is a steep mountain to climb, we can still climb it. We just have to look forward.
“From the first goal to half-time, that was the worst we have played. Before then it could’ve gone either way, but that doesn’t matter now. We just have to focus on Saturday against Norwich.”
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