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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer makes Man Utd vow as he acknowledges level of expectation

Solskjaer has vowed to ensure that Manchester United’s season remains on track following their shock Champions League defeat in midweek, urging his players to respond against West Ham on Sunday

Ole previews West Ham

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Manchester United have turned Old Trafford back into the Theatre of Dreams.

But the United manager has promised that, while fans are right to get excited about a team that includes Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes and Jadon Sancho, HE will make sure that his players do not let a fantasy start to the season turn into a nightmare.

United travel to West Ham on Sunday with 10 points from their opening four Premier League outings – and are unbeaten on the road in the top flight for a record 28 games.

The supporters are riding on a wave of optimism, but Solskjaer warned that Tuesday night’s shock Champions League defeat at Young Boys was a wake-up call that his squad must heed.

Solskjaer has urged his players to respond against West Ham on Sunday

Solskjaer said: “I think that’s why we’re here at the biggest club in the world.

“It is called the Theatre of Dreams for a reason, because if you don’t dream high, then what are you there to support your team for?

“But that’s for the supporters.

“I’m grounded, the coaches are grounded. We know our ­expectations. We know we’ve got good players.

“We also know that we’re in a competitive situation where every single game and every single ­training session counts – and we can’t take our eye off the ball and dream.

There is increased pressure on Man Utd after signing Ronaldo


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“We can’t dream. We’ve got to keep plugging away at what we ­believe in.

“But I think there must be a buzz and excitement about the place with the players we’ve got. It’s up to us now to keep that form going.

“We know there are going to be ups and downs. All seasons have highs and lows.

“We’ve had a low on Tuesday night and now we must bounce back from that.”

While Ronaldo has hit the ground at full speed following his return to Manchester after 12 years, new £80million signing Jadon ­Sancho is yet to produce the form that prompted United to track him since his early days at the ­ Manchester City academy.

Sancho has been substituted by Solskjaer in each of United’s past three games, after starting their opening two matches on the bench.

But the United boss insists he is delighted with how the England winger has settled – and that he has no doubts Sancho will come good.

Solskjaer said: “Jadon is learning all the time. In training as well, he is learning our training methods.

“He is learning the Premier League. Of course, he knows the Champions League from his time at Dortmund.

“He is a young boy, he is only 21, and he will only improve.

Sancho has been backed by Solskjaer to soon register his first goal or assist for Man Utd

What score will be West Ham vs Man Utd be? Comment your prediction below.

“We signed him because we see a top forward for 10, 12, 15 years – and I have not changed my mind about him on that.

“He is so clean on the ball and he has got the enthusiasm to learn – and that is a big thing when you come to Man United.

“Coming here, you are always going to get a chance, playing with some of the best players in the world, and getting some fantastic coaching with the coaches I’ve got.”

Solskjaer is encouraged too by David De Gea’s start to the season after it had appeared the Spanish keeper’s 10-year spell at the club was going to be ended by the emergence of Dean Henderson, 24.

But the academy ­graduate has been fighting for fitness after missing the Euros through injury and then contracting Covid – and De Gea, 30, has grabbed the lifeline with both hands. ­Solskjaer said: “David has started really well. It has been very unfortunate for Dean that he has had Covid and illness, but he’s ­getting better.

“Dean is getting some games and will probably play more Under-23 games just to catch up from what he’s lost. I am very pleased with David – his attitude and everything. I am happy with the goalkeeping department.

“I am not going to say here whether I am going to keep David going or Dean is going to come in.

“David has shown his qualities, so, of course, it’s a decision to be made further along the line when Dean is 100 percent.”

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