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tension builds Gary Neville admits Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is under huge pressure at Manchester United

'There are issues as their performance are nowhere near good enough'


Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer e (Nick Potts/PA)

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer e (Nick Potts/PA)

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer e (Nick Potts/PA)

Gary Neville has been a vocal supporter of his former Manchester United team-mate Ole Gunnar Solskjaer during his reign as the club's manager, but he admits the pressure could be about to reach breaking point after Saturday's 4-2 defeat at Leicester.

A disjointed United side lacked balance and cohesion as they were exposed by Leicester at the King Power Stadium, with United midfielder Paul Pogba admitting after the game that "something needs to change".

That comment did not ease the mounting pressure building around Solskjaer and Neville admits the performances from a side featuring a collection of world class individuals has been below par, with Cristiano Ronaldo's presence seemingly not enough to lift the team towards a title challenge.

"There are issues as their performance are nowhere near good enough," Neville told Sky Sports. "I said a few weeks ago that the moment where they started to play half-decent teams, they're going to struggle. Aston Villa, Everton, Villarreal and Leicester are half decent teams.

"The performances have been so shoddy all season in terms of team performances. There's been some good results and some great individual goals, but the overall performances and the unit in and out of possession have been shoddy.

"It's scrappy and scruffy to watch. When you play a team with a clear organisation and a methodology, you're going to get pulled apart and that's what happened here. They were pulled apart by Villa, pulled apart by Everton and pulled apart by Villarreal.

"We've seen a team picked with Marcus Greenwood, Jadon Sancho, Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes starting. Five of them, so I wouldn't want to be a defender in that team.

"I love them as players those five, but having them all in the same team there are not enough workhorses. There's a reason that Darren Fletcher, John O'Shea, Nicky Butt, Tom Cleverley, Park Ji-sung and Owen Hargreaves got a game at United over the years.

"We needed workhorses alongside the great players. Manchester United at this moment in time are imbalanced. The performances are now getting what they deserve in terms of the results. It needs to change. The performances need to be a lot better and was no surprise.

"I think the performances over the season haven't been good enough even when they've been winning. Against Newcastle (when Man Utd won 4-1 on Ronaldo's return to the club), everyone got carried away but they weren't very good that day."


Gary Neville in action for Sky Sports

Gary Neville in action for Sky Sports

Gary Neville in action for Sky Sports

When asked whether Solskjaer was now under pressure he added: "We know what's coming. Having struggled against half decent teams, they're now going to play against some of the best teams in the world.

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"Next Sunday, they're going to play Liverpool and then they have to play Man City the week after. They're going to play Tottenham and then Chelsea and these are proper teams.

"They're nowhere near good enough out of possession. They're the weakest team among those near the top of the league without a shadow of a doubt for pressing.

"City to be fair to them would've kept the ball, and Liverpool have something about them with Van Dijk at the back again. Liverpool went punch for punch with Brentford when they came here and tried to score more goals. Man Utd without the ball aren't good enough.

"What Manchester United's star players need is to have the work ethic of Bernardo Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, and Sadio Mane. World-class players who work like absolute dogs every game. I don't see that among United's most talented players.

"When I look at those United players I've mentioned in the team, they don't work as hard as Mane or Firmino or Bernardo Silva. A better player who works harder means you're not going to finish higher than them - it's as simple as that.

"The pressure will build on the manager and the pressure will build on the players. They won't do anything with the manager. Ultimately, I think the club are stable in this respect in what's happened in the last 10 years. I think they recognise that they are going to go through these moments."

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