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Manager set to be spared

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is reportedly set to be spared the axe at Manchester United despite the Red Devils’ winless run of four games in the Premier League.

The disastrous stretch — which has followed a big summer spend — ended with an all-time capitulation at Old Trafford on the weekend where Liverpool hammered its rival 5-0.

Sky Sports reported on Wednesday that manager Solskjaer is expected to stay in charge for United’s trip to Tottenham on Sunday.

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United humiliated as Reds score 5! | 01:28

The publication reports that the club is reeling from the Liverpool loss, but its immediate focus is on improving results on the field and not sacking Solskjaer.

Despite earlier reports from Italy that former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte was being sought for the job, Sky Sports understands that there has been no contact between the Italian and United.

The news comes despite immense pressure being piled on club legend Solskjaer, who called the loss to Liverpool his “darkest day”.

Former Manchester City defender Micah Richards said on Wednesday that he felt sorry for Solskjaer, even though he believes he’s “a bit out of his depth”.

“It’s a team of individuals, not a collective,’ Richards said on BBC Radio 5. “They all want to be the star man, instead of doing the basics of football, like running and tackling. If you’re bringing in Ronaldo, what’s your style of play?

“Ronaldo is available so you think ‘get him’, but you try to fit in Fernandes, Pogba, Sancho, Rashford and Greenwood in as well, so where’s the balance?”

He added: “He has such a legendary status at the club so it was always going to be difficult when things come to this.

“It has to be down to the coaching and some of the things were ridiculous, basic mistakes. They don’t know when to press or when to drop deep and it looks like Ole does not know what to do.”

Yellow not enough, Pogba sees RED | 00:31

Meanwhile, former United defender Rio Ferdinand called United’s loss to Liverpool an “embarrassment” and said the club is lacking identity under his former teammate.

“This is the problem for this team, they’re struggling to find an identity and who they are,” he said.

“These are the questions, when you watch the game, you think “what are we?”

“Is the manager giving the players the right information? And if so, are the players not taking on the information?

‘That’s what the manager needs to get to the bottom of because at the moment it looks like a team just thrown together.”

Celtic humming as they win 4th straight! | 00:59

Sportsmail’s chief writer Martin Samuel wrote that backing in Solskjaer at United is simply an idealistic fantasy and that the club really needs a more experienced manager, such as Conte.

“What Manchester United need is a manager, a coach, a leader,” Samuel wrote in a column on Wednesday. “Someone who might not necessarily call Sir Alex Ferguson ‘boss’, or be immersed in the modern history of the place … but might win trophies, win titles and improve players.

“The idea that Manchester United do not need a figure like Antonio Conte to shape this squad into one that competes is so obtuse and contrary it borders on the wilful.

“Yes, Solskjaer seems a good, straight guy. Yes, a lot of his former teammates are still his friends and would rather support and encourage than criticise. We understand their conflicts. There comes a time, however, when the evidence is overwhelming.”

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