Ole Gunnar Solskjaer vows to 'get the good times back' as anti-Glazer and Ed Woodward chants persist

Jason Burt
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was pleased Man Utd could relieve the pressure by progressing in the cup - Action Images via Reuters
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was pleased Man Utd could relieve the pressure by progressing in the cup - Action Images via Reuters

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer promised he will “get the good times back” at Manchester United and satisfy the fans who again aimed their anger at the Glazer family and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.

During the 6-0 FA Cup Fourth Round win over League One Tranmere Rovers the vast majority of visiting United fans at Prenton Park sang a number of chants aimed at the club’s hierarchy who will be concerned that the dissent is growing.

The songs were also heard during United’s past two home games, and particularly during the 2-0 loss against Burnley at Old Trafford, with one song about Woodward being completely unacceptable despite the obvious frustration over his stewardship of the club.

The chants, urging the Glazers to sell and Woodward to go, ended with the fans singing “We’re Man Utd, we’ll sing what we want” and Solskjaer – who had songs backing him – was asked afterwards for his response.

"We’ve just got to stay together and keep working. Try to win the next one and the one after that and then we’ll get the good times back,” the United manager said before adding: “Supporters are always happier when you win games and are successful. We will just keeping working to get this right.”

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer speaks with Mason Greenwood - Credit: Reuters
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer fended off questions about chants aimed at Man Utd's owners Credit: Reuters

Nevertheless the chants are becoming more vociferous with the focus on the way Woodward has run United since he took over from chief executive David Gill at the same time as Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013.

Solskjaer knew that the pressure would mount on him also if United had slipped up against Tranmere and he hailed the performance of his team – having selected a strong line-up to reflect the importance of the fixture. “Attitude spot on, difficult pitch, but we went about it the right way,” he said. “We worked hard, we played simple, but effective. We played the right way…We played football the way it should be played and it was an exceptional performance at times.

Of course we are playing against a League One team, the pitch levels it out and the attitude was spot on.”

The victory, despite being against such modest opponents, will come as a relief to Solskjaer ahead of Wednesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final second leg away to Manchester City with United 3-1 down. They then face a crucial Premier League game, having lost their last two league matches, at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers before the February winter break. They do not play again until travelling to Chelsea on February 17 so had to ensure they stayed in the FA Cup.

“The last two games before the break are important, of course. Today was a game that everyone, apart from United fans, wanted us to lose, so there's been a bit of pressure on them (the players), but they've enjoyed today. Now they can have a nice couple of days rest and then we'll be off and running again.”

Interestingly Solskjaer ordered 18-year-old Mason Greenwood to take the second-half penalty which wrapped up the scoring with Phil Jones and captain Harry Maguire relaying the message as Andreas Pereira readied himself for the kick.

“I told them to tell Mason to take it,” Solskjaer said. “Strikers should always want to take penalties, give him some responsibility. Maybe the first 15 minutes was a culture shock for him, because it's a different type of football than he's used to and it's about trying to give him that responsibility and ownership.”

Maguire, who scored his first goal for the club, said: "We set our stall out to put in a positive performance for the fans. We’re in the next round which is what we came to do. It was really important to get the win, coming off the back of a bad performance and result against Burnley.”