Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sees a “long and hard” road ahead for Manchester United as a 2-0 defeat at home to Cardiff to end 2018-19 highlighted that the Red Devils are “not good enough”.
The Red Devils stumbled out of the blocks in the current campaign and ended on a low note after suffering another humbling setback at Old Trafford.
Hope was briefly rekindled when Solskjaer took the reins and delivered an upturn in results, but he has seen his side collect just two wins in 12 since knocking Paris Saint-Germain out of the Champions League.
United finished without a victory in six and will be without elite European competition after ending the Premier League season in sixth spot.
Solskjaer admits he has a lot of work to, telling BBC Sport: “Today was not the problem, you can have all the possession and chances you want but we concede easy goals and not score at the other. That is not where our challenge lies, we have a long and hard way to be where we want to be.
“Mason Greenwood was brilliant, he was our best player by a mile and that says a lot about the kid. He came into the team with a lack of confidence and you can see that has take a total. Not surprised by his performance, we know he is capable of that.
“It will take some time to close in on the top, we finished five or six points behind third, fourth, fifth and that has to be our aim. The top two teams have set a standard higher than before and we have to take up the next challenge.
“The work starts now, everyone has the summer off but we have to come back with a different mentality and different attitude of being a Man United team.
“The ones who played, did well but it was not good enough.”
32 - Manchester United have finished 32 points behind the champions this season - more than they finished behind the top-flight winners when they were relegated in 1973-74 (30 points). Chasm. pic.twitter.com/bTozZLw6X3— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 12, 2019
Solskjaer had handed Greenwood, the club’s Young Player of the Year, a first start against Cardiff.
He was unable to enjoy the occasion as the Red Devils slumped to defeat in front of a disgruntled fan base.
United are expected to spend in the summer transfer market, but there is clearly a bigger rebuilding job to oversee than many expected when the season opened with Jose Mourinho at the helm and the Red Devils expected to build on a runner-up finish from 2017-18.