Manchester United sacked manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Sunday after Watford 4-1 loss

Last season the Norwegian finished a distant second to Manchester City – 12 points behind in the Premier League – and lost the Europa League final to Villarreal after a marathon penalty shoot-out.

However, after a run of just two victories in eight matches – which included a 5-0 defeat to arch-rivals Liverpool and a derby loss to Manchester City – the final straw was Saturday’s embarrassing 4-1 reverse at Watford.

“This club means everything to me and together we’re a good match, but unfortunately I couldn’t get the results we needed and it’s time for me to step aside,” Solskjaer said in an interview with United’s in-house media.

“You know what this club means to me and what I wanted to achieve here. For the club, for the fans, for the players, for the staff. I wanted us to take the next step to challenge for the league, to win trophies.”

Expectations were high of a Premier League title challenge this season after the signings of Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane in the transfer window.

But United have lost five of their last seven league games to fall 12 points behind leaders Chelsea.
“I want to thank the board and the owners for giving me the opportunity because it’s not for everyone and I’ve had the opportunity,” added Solskjaer.

“I’m so honoured and privileged to have been trusted to take the club forward, and I really hope that I leave it in a better state than when I came.
“I think there is potential in this club. We all love the club, and we all want to see it continue.”

Former defender Gary Neville believes the club’s search should take them in the direction of former Tottenham and current Paris St Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino.

“Ole can’t complain, he’s been given three years, he’s been backed in the transfer market,” added the ex-defender.

“David Moyes was given eight months and kicked out, so I don’t think Ole can complain about the time he’s been given and the money he’s been afforded.”

Solskjaer offered his best wishes to the man whom eventually succeeds him.

“I want him to be successful. Hopefully I’ve laid the foundations for that to happen because I know I’m good at what I’m doing,” he added.

“I’m so honoured and privileged to have been trusted to take the club forward and I really hope that I leave it in a better state than when I came.

“The board and the owners have backed me in (terms of) bringing good people in, good players in and I think, or I know I leave this club with a better squad.

“I don’t want to pre-empt anything but the two times I’ve left Molde, they’ve won the league the year after, so all the best to whoever takes over – that’s the expectations.
“I know the foundation is there, I know they’re ready to kick on and I’m sure they will.”

Michael Carrick will now take charge of the team for forthcoming games, while the club looks to appoint an interim manager to the end of the season.

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