Ole Gunnar Solskjaer denied that Manchester United have a psychological problem after being eliminated from the Carabao Cup.
Just one game stood in their way of reaching the final of the competition, but rivals Manchester City condemned them to a 2-0 defeat to put their dreams of a trophy on hold.
It was the fourth semi-final of any competition that United have contested under Solskjaer. They have lost all four.
It is clearly a trend that they will need to reverse in the future if they are to lift silverware again. However, despite not hiding his disappointment at the manner of the goals they conceded, Solskjaer maintained that United are “getting closer” to where they need to be.
“Manchester City can score many great goals. You can accept that,” he told Sky Sports.
“When you concede two simple set-plays, it’s very disappointing. Just not good enough in those moments.
“We didn’t create enough big chances. They didn’t either. We didn’t have the extra finesse we’ve had in the games lately. We weren’t good enough today.
“We played against a very good Manchester City team. They played well.
“When they play well you have to play very well to beat them. We were just lacking that little bit.”
‘Much better version of United’
“We’re getting closer,” Solskjaer continued. “This is a much better version of United than a year ago in those semis.
“It’s not psychological [losing in four semis]. Sometimes you meet good teams in the semis. We met, at the moment, City are probably the best team in England.”
United will quickly have to dust themselves off, as they will be busy over the next few weeks.
Games in the FA Cup and Premier League are coming thick and fast in January, giving Solskjaer something else to focus on.