Steve McLaren has said Manchester United now need to find a level of consistency, after they returned to winning ways against Everton. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer went into the game at Goodison Park, under intense pressure, but a brace from Bruno Fernandes and a late Edinson Cavani strike earned them a 3-1 win.
The result came after defeats to Arsenal and Istanbul Basaksehir had reportedly left Solskjaer on the brik of the sack.
McLaren, who was assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford, believes that United finally showed the kind of work-rate they need to continue getting results.
“I’ve seen them a lot this season and, for me, it’s all about work rate,” he told talk SPORT. “Not on the ball, they’ve got that, but off the ball. Win the ball back quickly.
“Talk about the back four being exposed, why do they get exposed? Because they are not working hard enough in front. It starts at the front, in terms of winning the ball back.”
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The former England manager also believes that Solskjaer’s side need to follow the blueprint laid out by Liverpool and Manchester City, in their 1-1 draw on Sunday.
“You look at Liverpool and Man City and the intensity of the game from the front to the back. I think that was the key,” McLaren said.
“[Scott] McTominay and Fred, when they’ve played in there and protected the back four, especially the two centre-backs who have been exposed.
“They are exposed against top quality players and conceded goals.
“It was attitude, work rate and determination, and all 11 players were willing to work for the shirt.”
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Following the win, Solskjaer launched a furious blast at Premier league bosses, after his side were asked to play in the lunchtime kick-off on Saturday.
“We were set up to fail,” Solskjaer told BT Sport, following the game.
“I said to you before, I want to talk to you about the kick-off time, before the game, and this has set up the boys to fail.
“We’ve got Luke Shaw injured today because we’ve been to Turkey, we’ve had loads of games this season already.
“And we’ve been to Turkey on Wednesday night, back Thursday morning and we’re playing Saturday, lunchtime kick-off?
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“It’s an absolute shambles and I can’t praise the boys enough for that character they’ve shown. That’s all I want to talk about today.
And McLaren suggested that Solskjaer’s fiery post-match comments will have helped to generate a siege mentality within his squad, which could spark further results after the international break.
“They are all fighting against the world after the last two results before Saturday. It’s good; it’s a siege mentality and a bit of anger, passion and emotion.
“To be fair it’s what you want to see, and what supporters want to see. Seeing that after the game.
“The key now is to have a breather and have a break, and come back from the internationals fit. And start playing consistently like that and win games consistently.”
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