Football

Man United heading in the right direction under Solskjaer, say pundits

Former Manchester United star Paul Scholes hailed the progress the Red Devils have made under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

United secured Champions League football next season via a third-placed finish in the English Premier League, and were losing semi-finalists in the FA Cup, League Cup and the Europa League, where they were ousted 2-1 by Sevilla yesterday morning (Singapore time).

"Ole's done really well. From where the club have been from the three or four years previously to when he came in, he's made a huge difference," Scholes told BT Sport.

"For two or three years, we didn't look like we could create a chance, let alone score a goal... the next step is to find a way to win something."

Former United goalkeeper Mark Bosnich believes "this very young side" will go on to win silverware in the future but, for now, he too felt this season should still be considered a success as United have secured Champions League football.

Scholes also reiterated the need for a "dominant centre-back", after he apportioned 75 per cent of the blame on Victor Lindelof for Sevilla's winner.

Winger Suso and striker Luuk de Jong capitalised on sloppy defending from United, after the English side took an early lead through Bruno Fernandes from the penalty spot. The winning goal also resulted in an expletive-laden spat between Fernandes and Lindelof.

"There is a lot wrong with the (winning) goal, you can blame the back four... Lindelof has 75 per cent blame for the goal," Scholes said.

"They could do with a centre-half, I've said that all along. I'm not sure Lindelof is good enough as a partner for (Harry) Maguire. They need a more dominant defender next to him."

Solskjaer admitted that the club face a busy few weeks in the transfer market, with United's over-reliance on a small core of players again exposed as the Old Trafford boss did not make a single substitution until three minutes from time.

"We need to strengthen the squad depth of course. We just have to be 100 per cent sure when we do those deals," said the 47-year-old Solskjaer.

The Norwegian also brushed off the altercation between Fernandes and Lindelof, stressing that he wants his players to be accountable to one another.

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