Man Utd chief John Murtough explains private Ole Gunnar Solskjaer talks amid patchy form

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Manchester United chief John Murtough has backed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, revealing the pair are talking about the future as the club look to evolve. The Red Devils have made progress under the Norwegian. However, after nearly three years in charge, the jury remains out.

Manchester United have suffered of late.

Solskjaer has overseen a problematic spell in the campaign, with the Red Devils failing to win four of their last six matches across all competitions.

Some have even called on the 48-year-old to lose his job, especially with the likes of Zinedine Zidane and Antonio Conte available.

But Murtough, speaking to the club’s official website, has backed Solskjaer and revealed they’re already talking about the future.

“We’re aiming for consistency and continuity in recruitment,” he said.

“We have a full process in place, making sure we’re planned in what we do.

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“Squad development is never-ending and constantly evolving. We’re sitting down with Ole and we’re talking about future plans in terms of where the squad will go and how we think it will develop.

“We want to balance squads with the right profile in terms of positions and in terms of age.

“The current squad has good balance with young, exciting players coming through, and those in the middle in the prime of their careers.

“And then you’ve the more experienced group – we can learn a lot from them, and they’re already having an impact on some of the younger players.

“We want a squad that can challenge today but also in the future as well.”

Murtough believes United have the personnel to challenge for the biggest trophies, while also calling for calm.

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“The Premier League is one of most competitive leagues in the world – players in from abroad and other leagues tell us how different it is – but we are 100 per cent up for this challenge,” he said.

“We believe that we’ve got the talent and the character within the squad to succeed.

“One thing we do is just keep control – emotionally we don’t get carried away, we don’t deviate from our plan.

“Ole and the staff are very focused on that.

“We don’t get distracted by what’s said on social media, which can sometimes create fervour and hysteria. It’s part of the modern game, but we’re very focused.”

Murtough was appointed by United at the same time as Darren Fletcher.

And the Red Devils chief has now opened up on what the Scot brings to the project, saying: “Darren anchors everything that we do to Manchester United values and culture as a player who’s come through the ranks and won trophies for us.

“Having him complement Ole and his staff is key.

“As an example…we recently signed an under-15 player. Darren was involved, and [Head of Academy] Nick Cox and the recruitment department, and when the parents met us with the player, they said ‘we met with you guys and you feel like a family, you’re authentic in what you say, you’re honest. You backed up that record of having an Academy player in the first team for over 4,000 games, and when we go around the building and we talk to people, there’s a culture here, there’s a history, there’s a feeling of authenticity and genuineness’.

“And that’s something that we really want to make sure we keep hold of and that’s part of our plan going forward.”

Murtough also insists United will continue to honour their past as they plan for the future.

“We’ve put in extensive work rebooting our youth system to continue traditions that started with Sir Matt and Sir Alex,” he said.

“We’ve got a massive commitment to youth development, and it’s shown with the investment that we’ve had over the last few years, which has increased fivefold, on the pitch, but also off the pitch with new staff brought in.

“It’s key that we keep strengthening this pipeline of players coming through.

“Scott, Marcus, Dean and Mason in the first team, but also players like Axel and Brandon out on loan.

“Plus others, further down the line who are getting their first experiences of playing league football, which is great for them and for us.”

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