Roy Keane believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could be facing the sack at Manchester United if he does not fill one critical requirement.
The Old Trafford legend fears the worst after he witnessed United labour to a first win of the season at Brighton.
United finished a distant third in the Premier League last season, 33 points off champions Liverpool.
And Keane is adamant that Solskjaer cannot afford for sort of outcome again this time around.
“The remit will be different for Ole this year,” Keane told Monday Night Football. “I think last year, it was about getting into the top four – I know they got to three semi-finals – but it will be higher this year.
“They will certainly have to get a bit closer to Liverpool and Manchester City. The points total cannot be the same as it has been over the past three or four years.
“Ole will probably have to get his hands on a trophy. I think the honeymoon period is certainly over for Ole, and the pressure starts to mount now. Particularly with the performances like that over the last week or so.”
When asked if failure to finish in the top four could signal Solskjaer’s sacking, Keane added: “Yeah, I think so. If you’re the manager of Man United, and they can invest in the next week and buy one or two… if they don’t invest in the next week, then it’s tough days ahead.”
United got lucky as they scrambled to a 3-2 win at Brighton thanks to Bruno Fernandes’ late penalty.
Struggle for United unless they tighten up
And Keane expects his former club to struggle, if their early season struggles are anything to go by.
“It’s not been great,” Keane continued. “Obviously, they’d have been pleased with the result against Brighton. But there are worrying signs already in the first week.
“It’s early days but they’ve given up a lot of goals and a lot of chances against Crystal Palace and Brighton so the signs aren’t great. It would be different if it was against Manchester City or Liverpool, with their brilliant attacking players but you’d expect them to have done better against Palace.
“The chances Brighton created… everyone’s focused on defensively how poor they’ve been. But as a whole team, it’s not been great with the amount of chances they’re giving up.”