Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hit back at claims from former Manchester United boss Louis Van Gaal that his team “park the bus and play on the counter attack".
The Dutchman’s words resonated with the team’s laboured 2-1 win against Watford on Sunday, where the winning goals scored by Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial came largely against the run of play.
United were second best for long periods against the Hornets, but held on to grind out a win and move above Arsenal into the Premier League’s top four.
Solskjaer conceded that the nature of his side’s late comeback win against Paris Saint Germain in March may have influenced the former Netherlands manager’s opinion of the team’s style of play.
United scored a stoppage-time goal at PSG’s Parc de Princes to complete a remarkable turnaround from 2-0 down following a first-leg defeat at Old Trafford, despite having been on the back foot for much of the tie against the French champions.
“LVG is entitled to his opinion,” the United manager said. “We’ve been looking at games. Some games we’ve pressed really high and won the ball up there and dominated.
“He’s probably talking more about the PSG game, which was a game that we had to defend really well in the circumstances and counter attack.
“It’s about where you win the ball. You want to defend to win the ball to go forward. You have to win the ball to attack and for me there’s two ways.
“Can you attack quickly like we did today, why not? As long as your intention is, when you win the ball, to attack.”
“The foundation in any team is to play well without the ball. If you can do that you’ve got a great chance.
“If that’s high pressure, low pressure, medium… sometimes we have to vary that.
“Players here – most of them – they’ve had [Jose] Mourinho, they’ve had Van Gaal, they’ve had [David] Moyes and Fergie [Sir Alex Ferguson], so they’ve had a great education. They know both sides of the game.”