Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Wednesday’s game against Manchester City is “the perfect one” for his side to bounce back from their dismal defeat at Everton.
United face rivals City live on Sky Sports after being thrashed 4-0 by Everton on Sunday in a display that forced Solskjaer to apologise to supporters and saw United midfielder Paul Pogba describe it as "disrespectful" to the club.
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The loss was United's sixth in their last eight games in all competitions, but despite their poor form Solskjaer is looking forward to Wednesday's match against the champions, who can go top of the Premier League above Liverpool with a win at Old Trafford.
He said: "That's the best game we could ask for now because the players are hurt.
"We've had a meeting after the game and you can see all of the players are definitely disappointed but really, really hurt by that performance.
"The City game is the perfect one - there's no hiding place on the pitch.
"Our fans will back you whatever the result will be as long as you give that effort against a City side that's been very, very good.
"We'll focus on Wednesday now and I'm sure we'll get a good response.
"We've not been out on the pitch running them like in the old days. You don't punish them as in run up to the mountains and back but we believe in them.
"Of course these players know they let themselves down as individuals, a team and me [down] as well [because] I'm in charge and I'm the one that gives them the instructions on how we're going to play.
"It's my duty to get them performing better than that but I'm sure we'll get a response."
City go to Old Trafford having won their last 10 league games but Solskjaer is wary of tactical fouls by Pep Guardiola's side with the Norwegian claiming they will be deliberating stopping United's counter-attacks.
He said: "We've got to turn up and be ready for the press because they've got quality on the ball so we've got to defend well.
"When we win it we've got to be ready for their aggression because they will snap at your ankles and heels and kick you.
"They're not going to allow us easy counter-attacking because there will be fouls, [I have] absolutely no doubt about it.
"When you watch their games they commit so many players forward and they'll be stopping us as high as they."