Ole Gunnar Solskjaer thinks his Manchester United’s team didn't play "as a team" during the first half in Sunday’s home draw with Aston Villa, but that inconsistency is to be expected from such a young team.
United are off to their slowest start in over 30 years, and a draw with the newly-promoted Villa will increase pressure on the Norwegian with his team ending the weekend in ninth place.
Solskjaer’s men fell behind to a marvellous Jack Grealish strike, before clawing their way to a 2-1 lead following Victor Lindelof’s header. They allowed Tyrone Mings to equalize for the Villains almost immediately after the Swede’s strike, and the manager thought they’d failed to control the game as they should have.
“We didn't go out together as a team," he said after the game.
"We should have done better. These boys will learn and improve. Sometimes inconsistency will happen with young boys.
"We failed to control the game at times but we can't do anything about that now. We have to work on us as a team and become a better unit.
“Aston Villa had too many counter-attacks for my liking."
The former United striker thought his team had showed the character required to shake off a desperately poor first 45 minutes at Old Trafford.
The Red Devils face Solskjaer’s predecessor Jose Mourinho in his new role as Tottenham boss on Wednesday, before they face local rivals Manchester City next Saturday, and he said they were excited for those huge matches.
"First half today wasn't good enough, their first goal knocked us emotionally, we didn't compete until half-time,” the former Cardiff City manager lamented.
“The boys have character, they're young, they have loads of energy and the second half was miles better, but it's a game of two halves as everyone says.
"These boys will improve and learn from this experience. As a club we don't like to be in this position but that's the reality.”
“Wednesday we have a big game, Saturday, these boys are looking forward to every game.”
Despite being eight points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, Solskjaer isn’t ruling out a return to the Champions League next season, if his team can find the required consistency.
“That will take care of itself in the end. We have to be better, we have to work as a team and become a better unit,” he added.
“Today it was end to end, we were exciting going forward but we should have controlled the game more."