Man Utd players need a reality check – Solskjaer

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The Red Devils will need a strong finish to their Premier League season if they are to qualify for the Champions League

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes some of his players need a "reality check" if they are to continue improving and assist in restoring the club's place amongst Europe's elite.

The Norwegian broke several records in the first months of his tenure at Old Trafford, but results of late have taken a turn for the worse as the Red Devils were dumped out of the Champions League at the hands of Barcelona and sit sixth in the Premier League.

A top-four finish will be the club's only goal heading into the final weeks of the season and, speaking at a press conference on Friday, Solskjaer was asked if he has learned more about his squad's character after recent defeats.

“I'm not sure about that,” the 46-year-old said. “I've learnt a lot about them over the months here and most of them have really impressed in their attitude, but some need to get a reality check of where they are.

“Most of these players know they can improve if they keep working as they do.”

Solskjaer was then pushed to reveal who he thinks needs to reassess themselves, with one journalist asking whether Anthony Martial is part of that group as the French forward struggles for consistency in front of goal.

“I've spoken to individuals and Anthony is one I've spoken to,” he said. “Anthony's got massive talent and a new contract, so he knows we believe in him. Just keep working.

“I think anyone that plays for Manchester United has to deliver to stay in the squad and stay in the team. Anthony is no different to Rashy [Marcus Rashford] or Rom [Romelu Lukaku] or Alexis [Sanchez] or the many forwards we have to choose from and that's the great thing about it.

“Now it's down to the players and the ownership they take.”

United's downturn in form has coincided with the former striker being handed the manager's role on a full-time basis, but Solskjaer doesn't believe his permanent appointment has any correlation to the team playing below their own high standards.

“That's football – margins,” he continued. “We've lost two league games, Watford and Arsenal, those games we shouldn't have talked about losing. We won games we maybe didn't deserve and that evens things out.

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“The players know what's going to happen, they know what I expect as a club and what we want. That's football. When we came in on December 19 and where we're at now... I think anyone would have taken that.

“We've got five games to see if we can finish it off.”

Man Utd travel to Goodison Park on Sunday to face ninth-placed Everton.

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