Ole Gunnar Solskjaer deserves credit for Manchester United turnaround, says Chris Hughton

The Brighton and Hove Albion coach saw his side go down to a narrow 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford on Saturday

Mark Critchley
Northern Football Correspondent
Sunday 20 January 2019 21:06
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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Manchester United aim for top four

Chris Hughton believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s 100 per cent start to life at Manchester United cannot simply be explained by a ‘new manager bounce’.

The Brighton and Hove Albion coach saw his side go down to a narrow 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford on Saturday, while Solskjaer recorded his seventh win from his first seven games.

Hughton later claimed that while Solskjaer has many talented players at his disposal, he deserves credit for turning United’s fortunes around quickly since replacing Jose Mourinho.

When asked whether all United ever needed was a change at the top, Hughton said: “It’s not as simple as that.

“You will get that in some circumstances, and then in others you won’t get that. It’s not a given that anyone coming in would turn around results as such.

“There’s no doubt what he has. He’s got very good tools to play with, there’s no doubt about that.

“But it’s absolutely not a given that he would walk in and get the results that he’s had. You have to give him credit.

“I think the results very much speak for themselves,” Hughton added, on United. “I think that they’re playing really well too, so they speak for themselves.

“I don’t know what he’s doing with the players or how he’s working with them, but I don’t think it’s a job that anybody could automatically step into and do well.

“So you certainly have to give him credit because he’s the one at this moment who’s managing the team, and they are on the back of seven games undefeated, and some of that’s down to him.”

Brighton, meanwhile, now sit seven points clear of the bottom three after Newcastle United’s win over Cardiff City.

Despite sitting in 13th, Hughton knows that his side remain in the relegation conversation, with key meetings against the likes of Fulham, Watford and Burnley over the coming weeks.

Still, he is pleased to have come through recent tests against members of ‘the top six’ and believes Brighton remain well placed to avoid the drop.

“I think if you’d asked me at this stage if I would be happy on the back of two positive performances against United and Liverpool and be seven points clear, then I would say yes,” he said.

“But the pressure is always getting the points when you need to. We’re going into a series of games now where the pressure will be on us to make sure that we get points from these games.”

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