Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer explains reasons behind poor home form ahead of Leeds visit

  Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Manchester United are ready to turn around their woeful league form at Old Trafford, starting with the visit...

 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Manchester United are ready to turn around their woeful league form at Old Trafford, starting with the visit of rivals Leeds on Sunday.

United have won just one of their six home games this season, scoring only one goal from open play in the process, while Crystal Palace, Tottenham and Arsenal have all travelled back from Manchester victorious.

This poor record at Old Trafford comes in stark contrast to United’s away form, with sixth consecutive wins on the road following Thursday’s 3-2 victory at Sheffield United.

Read more: Two years of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has left Manchester United in an uncertain cycle of hope and despair

Solskjaer’s side are up to sixth-place, five points behind leaders Liverpool with a game in hand, but must improve in their own backyard in order to mount a credible title challenge.

Solskjaer believes that United’s poor home record could simply be down to the way opponents have set up at Old Trafford and expects Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds to be more adventurous than recent visitors.

“I don’t think it’s a mental issue,” Solskjaer said of United’s home form. “It can’t be because there are no fans here [away from home] or there. We should be more used to the pitch as well as the surroundings and environment. 

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“Sometimes it’s down to fine margins, who gets the first goal, how the opposition set up.  

“Today against Sheffield United, you had two teams who wants to play on the front foot and press, which creates space for us and them.

“Sunday we’ll also play a team who will also make it hard game for us but also maybe an open game. The games I’ve seen from Leeds, they have been very entertaining.”

Sunday’s game is the first top-flight meeting between United and Leeds in 16 years and will renew one of English football’s most historic rivalries.

Solskjaer played against Leeds nine times as a United player – winning four games, drawing three and losing two – and scored four goals in the Roses derby, including two in a 4-2 win at Elland Road in the 2001-02 campaign.  

“There were fiery games, tackles flying in, players from both teams who were winners,” he said. “We had a few fights of course. Elland Road wasn’t the quietest place when we came off the coach walking into the stadium, put it that way.

“They were two good teams back in the day. I liked the build-up to the games and the quality they had tested us as a team as well. Loads of good memories.”

This weekend get a £10 free bet with Betfair, when you bet £10 on a Same Game Multi on the Premier League. Terms: Min £10 Same Game Multi bet on any EPL match this Fri – Sun. Free bet valid for 72 hours, awarded at bet settlement. Excludes cashed out bets. T&Cs apply.


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