MANCHESTER (REUTERS) – Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said on Monday (Nov 1) that he enjoyed the criticism that comes with his job and that he was unperturbed by the harsh comments that followed some of his team’s recent performances.
Solskjaer has been under intense scrutiny after United’s stuttering start to the season but saw some of that pressure ease with a 3-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend.
“Criticism can make you doubt yourself or you can stand up for yourself. I have always enjoyed criticism. Keep that coming,” he said ahead of United’s trip to Atalanta in the Champions League on Tuesday.
“Journalists, pundits, experts, we all have different jobs.
It is their job to give their opinion. I am not here to fight with them.” The Norwegian insisted United had not turned a corner despite the dominant win at Spurs, with Atalanta likely to pose a difficult challenge.
“Special style. Attacking, aggressive, the coach (Gian Piero Gasperini) shines that energy. It is also exciting to watch and we have followed them for a while. What they have done in the last five years has been remarkable,” said Solskjaer.
United were forced to dig deep against the Italians in the reverse fixture at Old Trafford last month, coming from two goals down to seal a dramatic late 3-2 win.
“Atalanta are a team with a unique style of play and still believe in themselves. It is always little things they might try to do different to win any game…” he added.
United’s strategy of switching to a back three in central defence worked perfectly against Tottenham, but the manager said he was unlikely to use the same system on Tuesday.
“We have players to play many different systems – back three, back five, wide men, wingers. We looked at Tottenham, played that system and it worked. Can’t say what we will do tomorrow night,” he said.
United top Group F with six points from three games, while Atalanta are third, level on four points with second-placed Villarreal.