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‘Tough days ahead but Man Utd must stick with Solskjaer’ – Keane forecasts top-four struggle

11:26 EAT 01/10/2019
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer 2019-20
The ex-Red Devils captain wants to see faith shown in a former team-mate, with a serious rebuilding project being undertake at Old Trafford

Manchester United have been warned that there are “more tough days ahead”, but Roy Keane wants to see the club keep faith with OIe Gunnar Solskjaer.

The Red Devils thought they had found their saviour when presenting a three-year contract to a coach initially appointed as interim successor to Jose Mourinho.

Solskjaer made a stunning early impact, but has seen the wheels fall off as United once again struggle to deliver the consistency which will carry them back towards former glories.

Questions have been asked of whether a 1999 Treble winner is the right man for the job, but there is acceptance that a major rebuilding project at Old Trafford is going to take time.

With that in mind, former United captain Keane has called for patience when it comes to those in the dugout.

Quizzed by Sky Sports on whether the Red Devils should stick with Solskjaer, Keane said: "100 per cent.

"They've given him the job and the contract, so support him and let him get on with it. Give him a couple of transfer windows. Are there more tough days ahead? You can bet your life there is. But they have to persevere."

Keane added on the problems facing United after seeing them held to an uninspiring 1-1 draw by Arsenal: "You need belief and quality but this United are lacking in both.

"The effort was there but they were lacking in quality.

"I thought United should go on to win comfortably but it's a mix of belief, confidence and quality - a combination of all those things. They're not cutting teams open. It's all on the counterattack but that's where the team is at. It's hard work watching them but I bet it's hard work for the players too. It's not happening but you've got to keep persevering - they have to get a big result soon just to get some confidence."

With United still searching for a spark – taking just nine points from seven Premier League games in 2019-20 – Keane concedes that another year without Champions League football may be on the cards.

Pressed on whether the Red Devils look like top-four contenders, the Irishman said: "On that performance? No.

"I think they'll improve and probably invest in January, whether there's top players available... Teams like West Ham, if there's ever a chance of getting in the top four this season is it. Top-six for Manchester United should be OK but that won't satisfy these clubs with the money they've spent. It's got to be top four."