July 16, 2020 Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at half time, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pool via REUTERS

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer put on a brave face amid mounting speculation about his role at the club, saying on Friday he felt secure in his position despite his side slipping to nine points off the top of the Premier League.

Poor performances like their 5-0 thrashing by Liverpool and the derby loss to Manchester City before the international break compounded the pressure on Solskjaer, with British media reports this week saying club bosses were identifying a replacement.

However, the Norwegian said he had been in close contact with the club’s hierarchy over the past two weeks and that his team, sixth in the standings, were determined to get their season back on track starting at Watford on Saturday.

Asked if he felt safe in the job, Solskjaer replied: “Yeah, the players, the staff, myself, the club, we’re working to one goal to improve, get better results. The fans are still supporting the team… they’ve been through this period, backed the team through the rebuild.

“When you lose a game you’re always disappointed and under pressure, we’ve been communicating openly and honestly. There’s one game that matters and what goes on after that. This week has been really good for training.”

United’s last visit to Vicarage Road in December 2019 ended in a 2-0 win for Watford. Although the Hornets are struggling in 17th, the pressure is on Solskjaer’s side not to slip up again having taken four points from their last six league games.

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