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Man United boss Solskjaer warns under-performing stars: ‘There’s no hiding place’

ESPN FC’s Craig Burley believes Manchester United got a dose of reality following their three-goal defeat in Barcelona.

MANCHESTER, England — Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has warned his squad there is “no hiding place” at Manchester United while adding some of his players need “a reality check.”

United head to Everton on Sunday having lost five of their last seven games — including a humbling 3-0 defeat against Barcelona on Tuesday.

The result at Camp Nou prompted Solskjaer to say he will need to rebuild his squad over the summer — with sources telling ESPN FC he is targeting a player for every position. Speaking at a news conference on Friday ahead of the trip to Goodison Park, the Norwegian questioned whether some of his players were good enough to be at Old Trafford.

“There’s no hiding place and everyone can see what your level is at,” Solskjaer said. “The performance on the pitch will determine where they’re at — if it’s short term or long term.

“Most of them have really impressed in their attitude and some need to get a reality check of where they’re at, but most of the players know they can improve if they keep working as they do.”

Solskjaer is set to embark on a £200 million revamp of his squad during the summer transfer window that could see five signings arrive and as many as seven players leave.

However, the 46-year-old said there was no “quick fix” to the problems he has inherited from the string of managers to take the reins in the six years since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.

“I’ve been speaking to the club, we know that we have to be realistic and have a job to do,” Solskjaer said. “There’s no quick fix — it’s not like we can buy seven players and we’re in the right shape.

“We have to take it step by step and there’ll be signings made but there also has to be thoughts about players. We’ve got scouts scouring the planet for good footballers and we’ll sign players we think are the right fit — personality-wise, price-wise and quality-wise. I’m confident we’ll get the players.”

Solskjaer started his reign with one defeat from his first 17 games but since the dramatic 3-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain on March 6 there have been just two stuttering wins over Watford and West Ham.

Anthony Martial was one of the players key to Solskjaer’s impressive start but the Frenchman, who signed a new five-year deal in January, has scored just once in his last eight games and lasted just 65 minutes against Barcelona before being replaced with full-back Diogo Dalot.

“I’ve spoken to individuals and they know and Anthony is one I’ve spoken to — what we expect from them,” Solskjaer said. “Anthony has got a massive talent, he got a new contract and knows we believe in him so just keep working.

“I think anyone that plays for Man United has to deliver to stay in the squad and stay in the team and Anthony is no different to Rashy [Marcus Rashford] or Rom [Romelu Lukaku] or Alexis [Sanchez] or the many forwards we have to choose form.

“That’s the great thing about it now — it’s down to players.”

EltasZone Sportswriters, Sports Analysts, Opinion columnists, editorials and op-eds. Analysis from The Zone Team
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