Ole Gunnar Solskjaer acknowledged the responsibility for Manchester United’s poor form rests on his shoulders after they went down 1-0 away to Newcastle United.
Solskjaer’s side fell to a third Premier League loss of the season and are 12th in the table, only two points clear of the relegation zone, having scored just nine goals.
United have only taken 17 points from 16 games since his permanent appointment in March after he initially impressed as Jose Mourinho’s successor on a temporary basis, with Solskjaer accepting he needs to turn things around.
“We’re disappointed. We did lack quite a few key players but that’s no excuse,” Solskjaer – denied the services of Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial and Luke Shaw due to injury – told Sky Sports after Matty Longstaff’s debut goal inflicted their latest loss.
“The players worked hard and ran their socks off but at the moment we’re in a place we’re not used to. Some of the boys lack a little bit of composure and we don’t create enough chances to win a game of football. They stay together as a team but we don’t create.
“Luckily for us it’s now the international break. We get time to evaluate what’s gone on over these eight games. We will sit down, hopefully we’ll get a few players back.
“It’s my responsibility. I need to sort their heads out. Young boys lacking confidence – they need some help from experienced players and staff.
“They’re human and they want to do well. They need to see the results of their hard work and we’re not getting those results, so that’s going to affect them.
“The first half was the sloppiest we’ve been. In the second half we dominated but we didn’t create.
“We’ve not changed a lot. We’ve played the same way and stuck to our principles. The players are working hard.
“We’ve had six out from the Chelsea game [a 4-0 win on the opening weekend] and that’s going to affect results. But we’ll work hard and get the quality back.”
United’s next game, following the international break, is at home to leaders Liverpool who have won 17 straight Premier League games.
“It will take however long it will have to take,” Solskjaer said of turning around United’s situation.
“It’s a journey we’ve started on and the culture is getting there. I can’t give you any time but we’re getting there. We’ve given ourselves a big, big uphill challenge to get among the top four, but it’s tight and we need to get a run together.
“We’ve come together and discussed the direction we’re going. If you only work on sunny days you’ll never get to your destination. We’ll have these days but we know where we want to get to.”