Manchester United boss Solskjaer glad season is over

Having seen Manchester United fall away badly in the final weeks of the season, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer welcomed the off-season.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.   -  Getty Images

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits he is glad Manchester United's season is over after it "hit a brick wall".

United rallied following Solskjaer's interim appointment in December and launched an assault on the Premier League's top four, as well as reaching the Champions League quarterfinals. But a miserable run-in saw the Old Trafford outfit end the campaign winless in six in all competitions, finishing in sixth place.

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Solskjaer, who succeeded Jose Mourinho on an interim basis and was appointed permanently in March following his strong start, was honest enough to acknowledge that he was welcoming the off-season.

"We have been poor. We have more or less hit a brick wall towards the end of the season," he told a news conference after a 2-0 home defeat to relegated Cardiff City on the final day of the top-flight season. 

"That's disappointing, but the big plus is that the season is over. We can put a big line over it and move forward. We know we are too far behind where we want to be. They've been going through a tough period, the players. They're good players but, towards the end of the season, they're fatigued mentally, physically.

"Normally [on Sunday] with some confidence on the pitch, you win that game. The most confident boy was Mason [Greenwood, 17-year-old full debutant]. It was great to see him, a joy. That gave the fans, supporters, me, the players a lift. Probably that and Scott McTominay were the only two big pluses."

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Solskjaer has repeatedly noted that a Premier League title challenge is unlikely next season, but he still wants to bring silverware to United.

"Last time we were in the Europa League with Jose and loads of these players, we won it," he said. "With the FA Cup and the Carabao Cup, they are trophies we have to start the season aiming to win."

Solskjaer's side will not be playing Champions League football next season and major changes are expected in the transfer window. But Solskjaer wants more from those players who will stay, too, suggesting their approach to life at United has not been right in recent weeks.

Mason Greenwood, 17, made his first Premier League start for Manchester United.   -  Getty Images

 

"It will take some time to close in on the top," he said. "We finished five or six points behind third, fourth and [four behind] fifth, and that has to be our aim.

"The top two teams have set a standard higher than before and we have to take up the next challenge. The work starts now. Everyone has the summer off, but we have to come back with a different mentality and different attitude of being a Man United team."

"Today was not the problem," he said. "You can have all the possession and chances you want but we concede easy goals and not score at the other. That is not where our challenge lies, we have a long and hard way to be where we want to be."

Full debutant Mason Greenwood was a rare bright spark on Sunday and his manager added: "Mason Greenwood was brilliant.

"He was our best player by a mile and that says a lot about the kid. I'm not surprised by his performance, we know he is capable of that."

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