Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists he has no axe to grind with Roy Keane after his former Manchester United teammate launched a furious attack on the club and some of their big-name players.
The former United skipper was in no mood to mince his words ahead of Wednesday’s Manchester derby at Old Trafford, as he aired his thoughts after Sunday’s 4-0 humiliation at Everton.
Keane told Sky Sports: “He (Solskjaer) will be hoping for a reaction. Whether he expects it or not, I don’t know. People are saying it’s the ideal game for them, I’m not so sure. I’d be thinking a game against Huddersfield would be better!
“These are the same players that threw Mourinho under the bus and they’ll do exactly the same to Ole. Leopards don’t change their spots. The standards have dropped at United over the last few years, both on and off the pitch.
“You can’t change 11 players, though I’m sure he was tempted. He’ll be looking for a reaction. It’s going to be a tough night for United.
“There’s a big question mark over a lot of these players and now Ole. The pressure will be building on Ole.”
Keane also had plenty of criticism for Paul Pogba, adding: “I wouldn’t believe a word he says. No meaning behind it. I don’t even think he believed what he was saying there. He’s a big problem. He plays for himself.”
Solskjaer was told of what Keane said after his side had suffered a 2-0 defeat to City at Old Trafford. You can read what the United manager thought of his side’s display here.
But when asked for his thoughts about Keane and his criticism, the Norwegian was not prepared to go to war with his ex-teammate.
“With Roy I’ve always had a great relationship with him,” Solskjaer said. “And, how do you say, I value his opinion very highly and he’s got his opinion.
“We played together for many, many years and he’s a Man United guy, as well, he hurts just as much as anyone else connected to us, that we are so far behind City as we are.
“And that’s my job, to make sure when we come back pre-season that I have the right characters in and around. Because that should never be allowed.
“Because when you’re at Man United the spotlight will be on you, headlines, and you’ve gotta make sure you come into work every single day with the effort like they gave today, that’s your duty.
“That’s what you sign up when you play for Man United – the expectations. Of course, the history, you can look back on that.
“But we are where we are now and as I’ve spoken to you about in the last few weeks, we have to take step by step and make sure we’re on the right track, and do it quickly.
“Because you can’t linger along for many, many years, because the Premier League is so competitive and you’ll suddenly be caught up by other teams.”
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