Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has demanded that his players should return from the international break as ‘hurt animals’.
The Norwegian coach is under huge pressure following Saturday’s home defeat by Manchester City and the 5-0 thrashing by Liverpool last month.
United have picked up just four points from their past six league games and are sixth in the table, nine points behind leaders Chelsea.
With several United players away on international duty, Solskjaer has returned to Norway to spend a few days with his family, and it is understood he has given his non-international players some time off.
“It’s very disappointing and it feels like after last week we made a step or two forward. Results-wise it’s a big step backwards. But it’s probably for me a way of losing that we don’t like. When you lose a game against a good team, you want to see a better Man United team than that,” he said during a press conference
Meanwhile, former United and England defender Rio Ferdinand has called for the “baton to be handed over”.
Speaking on his Vibe with Five YouTube show, Ferdinand said it might be time for the Norwegian to leave the Old Trafford club, adding he “would leave with his head held high”.
“From where he came in to where he got us at the beginning of this season, I think it’s positive,” said Ferdinand.
While there is still no indication from Old Trafford that a managerial change is imminent, Ferdinand says he is left “confused” when he watches Solskjaer’s side.
“I look at our team every week and wonder what we are going to do, tactically,” added the 43-year-old, who won six league titles in 12 years at United.
“I don’t see any philosophy or an identity in the United way of playing, whatever that should be from the management. I sit here confused looking at the team.
“When you look at it like that with the summer transfer window we had, we were all sitting here excited, thinking ‘this is where we’re meant to be’.
“I go back to the point. Ole was brought in with the remit to get us back to a point, a moment where you think he’s brought some foundation back. At the beginning of this season we were thinking ‘yes, that’s it’.”
Ferdinand also admitted to having never been “fully convinced” of Solskjaer’s ability to lead United back to the Premier League summit.
“I was always deep down a bit skeptical. Could he take us on to be champions? I wasn’t sure, I wasn’t fully convinced, but hoped he would be able to do that.
“But the showing with the squad he accumulated to the beginning of this season and what I’ve seen this season, I just feel that maybe it might be the time now for the baton to be handed over to someone else who can take us on.”