Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has acknowledged that Manchester United are at “rock bottom” following their 5-0 defeat to Liverpool – but the Norwegian says that he and his team have “come too far as a group” to throw in the towel.
Mohamed Salah’s history-making hat-trick, along with goals for Naby Keita and Diogo Jota and a red card for Paul Pogba, delivered a match to forget for the Red Devils against their rivals at Old Trafford.
But while United’s prospects of an unlikely title charge are in serious trouble, Solskjaer still believes that he is the right man for the job – though he is under no illusions that his side are in a particularly bad spot.
“It is not easy to say something apart from it is the darkest day I have had leading these players,” the manager told Sky Sports after the final whistle. “We were not good enough individually and as a team, [we] can’t give a team like Liverpool those chances but unfortunately we did.
“[The responsibility] is mine, that is it. The coaching staff are very, very good, brilliant. I choose the way we approach the game, we were not clinical enough and gave too much spaces and when you give good players space they score.
“I know these boys are capable of it. You can look at last season, we lose to Spurs 6-1. This is worse, miles worse. This is miles worse for me as a Manchester lad. I’ve just got to say we have to get over this as quickly as we can.”
Asked if he is still the right man to take the club forward, Solskjaer responded: “I have come too far, we have come too far as a group. We are too close to give up now. It is going to be a difficult one.
“The players will be low but there’s loads of characters there. We know we are rock bottom, we can’t feel any worse than this. Let’s see where we take it.”
Amid a roster of underwhelming performances, United captain Harry Maguire delivered an under-par showing and the skipper was quick to say sorry to supporters for the result.
“We apologise to the fans, it was nowhere near good enough for this club,” Maguire added to Sky Sports. “They stuck with us right to the end and we appreciate that but as a club we have to do better.
“I am so disappointed, we gave them so many chances. They were so clinical, we had a lot of chances ourselves but I am a defender and to concede four in the first half especially at Old Trafford is nowhere near good enough.
“As a player I know myself. I’ll be looking at myself and my individual performance. We have to stick together, there is no point blaming each other but look at ourselves. Look in the mirror when we go home tonight and think where we can do better.”