​Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer praised his players but said he was disappointed with the second half, as his side beat Watford 2-1 on Saturday afternoon.

The Red Devils won in Solskjaer’s first game as permanent manager, prevailing thanks to goals from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial. The result saw United go back to fourth in the table, just a point clear of Arsenal.

Anthony Martial,Marcus Rashford,Andreas Pereira

Speaking after the game, Solskjaer gave his thoughts on his side’s performance. As quoted on the club’s official website, he said: “We started off sloppily. The first 15-20 minutes, I think Watford deserved to get the lead. It was almost like we were waiting for them to score.”

Although it was a big win for ​Manchester United, they looked far from their best on Saturday. The Red Devils seemed lacklustre and lethargic throughout the game, and although they secured the win it was far from a trademark performance.

Solskjaer added: “We managed to change the system a little bit and got into the game. We created chances, we scored a great goal, could have had more goals because it was end-to-end in the last 20 minutes of the first half. The second half was disappointing, again.”

Solskjaer must have enjoyed his first match in charge as United’s permanent manager, having been ​appointed on a full-time basis on Thursday. The Norwegian has already revitalised United in his time at the helm, having joined as interim manager last December.

Solskjaer was also full of praise for his players, as he said: “We’ve been excellent. The players have been excellent, they’ve done magnificent. We came out here and we were a little bit unsure.

“But after 15-20 minutes today we could see what the potential is in this group and we can improve on the second half.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Manchester United are looking to finish back to back ​Premier League seasons in the top four, doing so for the first time since 2013. There has been a remarkable turn of form from United this season, having been in eighth place at the start of December.

United return to action next Tuesday, when they travel to ​Wolves in an attempt to to avenge their FA Cup defeat earlier this month. They then return to Old Trafford for a huge ​Champions League tie, with ​Barcelona the visitors in the quarter-final clash.