Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits West Brom performance ‘not a step forward’

Mark Critchley
·2 min read
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Manchester United via Getty Images)
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Manchester United via Getty Images)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted Manchester United’s performance against West Bromwich Albion was "not a step forward" and "way below-par", though welcomed their first home win of the Premier League season.

United required a retaken Bruno Fernanders penalty in order to beat winless West Bromwich, with the Portugal international scoring from the spot at the second attempt after goalkeeper Sam Johnstone had strayed off his goal-line.

Solskjaer's side laboured for long spells and failed to put away the few chances which fell their way, while Slaven Bilic's visitors were left ruing referee David Coote's decision to overturn a penalty award after an on-field VAR review.

After the final whistle, Solskjaer conceded that United had not convinced despite picking up all three points and moving into the top half of the table, and insisted that improvement was needed.

"It's definitely not a step forward performance-wise," he said. "We played really well against Everton last time. That's a performance I was really happy with.

"This one was way below par and sometimes three points are more important than performance, even though we know that to move up the table we have to play better.

"After the international break it isn't easy, there's not much time to prepare for the game."

Solskjaer was nevertheless "delighted" with the win, which was United's first at Old Trafford in the league at the fifth attempt this season.

"I think it's very important. Towards the end it meant a lot for us and maybe then we were too edgy. We haven't had a win at home in the league this season.

"A lot has been said and written and it probably affected players more than I'd have liked but it has. We got a win, clean sheet and a game here again in three days."

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