Boss denies complacency is to blame
OLE Gunnar Solskjaer likened United’s first-half performance at Watford to his testimonial after a galling 2-0 defeat.
The Reds became only the second team to lose to Watford all season in the Premier League and their first conquests at Vicarage Road, where a David de Gea howler and a mistimed tackle from Aaron Wan-Bissaka gifted Watford two goals in four secondhalf minutes.
Solskjaer named an unchanged league XI from the one that eked out a 1-1 draw with Everton last week, and for the fifth time this season United failed to take three points with the same unchanged team from the previous league fixture.
The United manager disputed whether that had allowed complacency to permeate through a squad.
He said: “We played a game in midweek [against Colchester] with a different team today. Every single game is important, doesn’t matter which tournament it is, every game is a chance for us to develop this team, improve this team, getting relationships.
“Of course, it’s all about working towards something bigger and I don’t think it’s complacency in the team. Today was about loads of other things. In the firsthalf, it could have easily been my testimonial, maybe it would have been a better atmosphere in my testimonial, to be fair.
“It was very subdued, slow, no tempo, no urgency, any bit of encouragement their crowd got was when we gave them some set-plays and we gifted them two goals.”
United have now squandered 15 points against the bottom seven in the league and in all six games had the majority of possession. United had 64 per cent of the ball at Watford but struggled to create clear-cut chances once again.
Solskjaer still disputed that their failure to master a controlling style was behind the 2-0 reverse. “Today is not about amount of possession, I don’t know the stats possession-wise,” he said. “It’s about quality when we do things and the two goals we concede... the first one is a freak goal, a mistake. Second one is a bad mistake making that tackle.
“So two goals in three or four minutes made it hard for us. Not about the amount of possession we had.
“I’m very disappointed today and four hours ago [before the game], we talk about this and looking more positive, that we know we’ve started up something with the rebuild.
“But at this moment I’m very disappointed, because we have to come to these stadiums to get more points. Today, I’m sure they are low on confidence, because they must be, Watford when you’re bottom of the table, we were high on confidence because we’ve been doing well lately.
“But it just wasn’t there, there was no intent or urgency to make us deserve to win the game.”