Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has claimed he enjoys criticism as the pressure on him continues, insisting it is only another person’s opinion.
Solskjaer survived the sack in the wake of United’s 5-0 defeat to Liverpool last weekend and took the first step towards saving his job with a 3-0 win over Tottenham on Saturday.
The United boss was happy with the way his players responded and is now looking for the next step in developing some consistency as he prepares for Tuesday night’s Champions League meeting with Atalanta.
Solskjaer explained that the result of the Liverpool disaster was bringing the club closer together in a kind of siege mentality.
“We don't have time for anybody to sulk, if you're not in the starting XI you are there to support your teammates,” he said.
“The attitude [against Tottenham] was spot on. Players want to play [and] nobody is happy when they don't. It is the team before any individual. We know when we get consistency, we will get results. One swallow does not make a summer. [Atalanta] is a chance to prove we can go again.”
On facing criticism he added: “Criticism can make you doubt yourself or you can stand up for yourself. I've always enjoyed it, keep it coming. Journalists, pundits, experts…we've all got different jobs and it is their jobs to give their opinion. I am not here to fight with anyone.”
United narrowly beat Atalanta in the reverse fixture at Old Trafford last month after mounting a second half comeback. That victory, regardless of the circumstances, ensured that the club is in a good position, with a further win this week making qualification for the knockout rounds likely.
It will, however, be a challenge, especially after what happened last time.
“Atalanta have a special way of playing. High tempo, aggressive, attack-minded and positive. What they have done is remarkable. A very good club, with very good people,” Solskjaer said.
“We are in good position [in the group] after winning our home games [against Villarreal and Atalanta] but we need a result away too. All the focus on this one. We've not been thinking about that [the Manchester derby] at all.”