MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer conceded his squad is “stretched” and made his strongest appeal yet for new signings to help his team after a miserable 2-0 home defeat to Burnley in the Premier League on Wednesday.
“We are working to improve and get players in, and hopefully we can get something over the line. I think everybody can see these players are being stretched, they are stretched, and I’ve got absolutely no complaints on any of them because they give absolutely everything they’ve got,” the United boss said.
Three key players - midfielders Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay and top scoring striker Marcus Rashford - are out with long-term injuries, and having off-loaded several players in the summer, the Norwegian’s options are limited.
“We know we have to strengthen, and we took that decision that some of these players, we let them go, because we needed to start afresh with a clear sight on target in front of us and that means a certain type of player in the squad,” he said.
“This is our second defeat at home and first since August. I thought we had turned that corner,” Solskjaer added.
Asked in his television interview with BT Sport about transfers, Solskjaer said: “I understand you were talking about that and that is always going to be the talk at the moment because we’ve started a clear-out and get-players-in job.”
Burnley enjoyed what was almost a routine victory and yet it was the Lancashire club’s first at Old Trafford since 1962.
“For me the most important thing is that we have to perform on the pitch and this wasn’t good enough for a Manchester United team,” said Solskjaer.
Former United defender Rio Ferdinand was scathing.
“I’m sitting here embarrassed. It’s embarrassing to be here seeing this,’ the former defender said on BT Sport.
“You can’t defend this. Fans were walking out after 85 minutes. People at the top need to see this and make changes and put a plan in place. Young kids in schools around the country won’t be wearing Man United shirts, they won’t be wanting to come here and see this,” he said.
“Nothing there suggests this is laying the foundation of future. I don’t see a pathway. Where’s the target set on the wall, saying this is how we’re going to get there? Money has been spent willy-nilly in the past seven years, what’s to show?’
Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Edwina Gibbs