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Fred backs Solskjaer but admits Man Utd are ‘not doing as well’ as they should be

The Brazilian has played down the significance of the Red Devils’ win over Chelsea, insisting their league form has not been good enough

Manchester United midfielder Fred is adamant that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is doing a good job at Old Trafford, but is aware that the team has failed to live up to expectations once again this season.

The Red Devils are currently sitting seventh in the Premier League standings, three points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea and a whopping 38 behind runaway leaders Liverpool.

A 2-0 victory over the Blues at Stamford Bridge on Monday boosted United’s chances of Champions League qualification, but their 2019-20 campaign has been dogged by inconsistency.

Solskjaer has overseen victories over Chelsea, Manchester City, Leicester and Tottenham, while also becoming the only manager to take any points from Liverpool, but United’s success against the top six has been undermined by their efforts against the lesser clubs.

Fred admits United are are “not doing as well” as they should be, and hopes to start delivering silverware to an expectant fanbase once again in the near future.

“Being highlighted now is very good, but there is the other side and unfortunately the team is not [doing] as well as it could be,” he told UOL Esporte. “We wanted to compete for the lead with Liverpool, but we are below Chelsea [and] Tottenham.

“It is part of football and we need to know how to deal with it and raise our heads, because we have a very high-quality team.

“You have to be charged [to deal with pressure] because it is a gigantic team. When things don’t work out, it is logical that the fans will talk. And it’s up to us to deal with the pressure off the pitch.

“The crowd got used to seeing many titles due to the size of United and they want those moments again. They are right and they must always want it.”

Fred went on to describe Solskjaer as a “teacher” and talked up how “important” the Norwegian has been behind the scenes amid constant speculation over his future at the Theatre of Dreams.

“Solskjaer is our teacher and does a good job,” said the Brazil international. “He is young and growing every day. He learned a lot and will grow as a coach and person.

“It is up to the board to decide, we do not have the power to decide on this. But he is very nice, he is an extraordinary person, he talks a lot, he has a playful side and he is always smiling.

“The day to day is great and he is very important for the team, as he was as a player in the history of the club.”

One man whose contribution to United’s cause has been significantly restricted this term is Paul Pogba, who underwent surgery on a niggling ankle issue in January.

It is not yet known when the Frenchman will return to action, and he continues to be linked with a move away from the club amid reported interest from Real Madrid and Juventus.

Fred acknowledges Pogba’s larger than life personality draws negative press at times, but insists the midfielder is a “hard-working guy” who still has a lot to offer the team.

“He’s a great person and a great player,” Fred added. “On a daily basis we [are] together a lot. He’s a good guy and we try to bring him closer to United.

“Unfortunately, he was injured a lot this season, but he can still help a lot. Needless to say, he is a great player. May he recover quickly, because he is a world champion and being 100 per cent will help us a lot.

“We feel bad because of the injury. His way of being does not change the good person and the great player he is. He’s a very hard-working guy, who struggles to get back soon.

“He has his personality, but that shouldn’t get in the way of any analysis.”

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