United focus on set-piece woes

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is prioritising Manchester United’s sloppiness from set pieces as he looks to continue his dream start as caretaker manager.

United focus on set-piece woes

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is prioritising Manchester United’s sloppiness from set pieces as he looks to continue his dream start as caretaker manager.

Solskjaer has picked up three impressive wins since taking over from Jose Mourinho, but his side has yet to keep a clean sheet.

Notably, the three goals United have conceded have come from set pieces, which is something Solskjaer has worked on in training ahead of their trip to Newcastle this evening.

“We need to keep clean sheets,” Solskjaer said, having watched Nathan Ake head past David De Gea from a Bournemouth corner in United’s 4-1 win on Sunday.

“We have not done that so far, so we know there are loads of things we need to work on, but this is the way we want to see ourselves: Attacking.

"We’ve conceded three goals from three set pieces. [Bournemouth’s goal] came from the one chance they had.

"We don’t concede too many chances in open play and that is great, but we have got to concentrate.

“We saw it [from the sidelines] that they were going to do that, but it’s difficult to shout the instructions. It was easier back home [in Norway]; they would hear me there.”

Solskjaer, who confirmed Alex Ferguson attended training before the Bournemouth game, has given the United supporters something to cheer in the short time he has been in charge.

He has the team playing in a way the fans appreciate, which they felt was missing under Mourinho’s final months in charge.

Solskjaer will be without the suspended Eric Bailly following his red card against Bournemouth.

Marcus Rashford should be available after sustaining a slight groin strain against the Cherries. Solskjaer confirmed Alexis Sanchez will return to the side after his hamstring injury, while Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo are close to being available.

United go to St James’ Park eight points behind Chelsea in fourth place and Solskjaer believes his side will continue to pick up points, as long as the players perform the way he wants them to.

“It’s about performances and as long as we play the right way and dominate games, more often than not, we will get enough points in the end,” said Solskjaer.

“The players will enjoy themselves if we keep on winning.

“We will get tougher tests, like Wednesday against Newcastle. We’re away from home and I never enjoyed going there.

“There was one game maybe, we really enjoyed ourselves with a 6-2 win, but that was more or less it.”

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez has warned the rest of the Premier League not to write off United just yet.

Benitez, is confident they can still cause problems for the main title contenders.

The Spaniard said: “Do you think the players that they have after spending the money they did are bad players?

"They are good players on the pitch, they have performed in the last three games, it is a very good team.

“It is a team that has to be in the top four, that is very clear. They can compete against anyone, Liverpool, Manchester City, anyone.

“We are talking about one of the biggest clubs in the world in terms of everything, the players they have, the names they have.”

More in this section

Sport Push Notifications

By clicking on 'Sign Up' you will be the first to know about our latest and best sporting content on this browser.

Sign Up

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox

Execution Time: 0.288 s