Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: Manchester United not in the 90s now

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A dejected Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the head coach / maanager of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on August 24, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images) 0:44
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Manchester United are in 'a different era' and will have more 'ups and downs'

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Manchester United are in "a different era" and accepts there will be more "ups and downs" as he attempts to build a team capable of challenging for trophies.

Having never finished lower than third in the Premier League table under Sir Alex Ferguson, United have only once bettered that position since his retirement - coming second during the 2017-18 campaign.

United's start to this season is their worst in 30 years and although Solskjaer is confident his side can turn it around, he accepts they do not possess the fear factor of years gone by.

Solskjaer celebrates after his Champions League final winning goal in 1999
Image: Solskjaer won six Premier League titles, two FA Cups and the Champions League during his playing days at United

"We're not in the 90s now so it's a different era, a different group that we're building. We know there are going to be ups and downs," he said.

"I don't know what opponents think of us. I just know that sometimes when you walk off games we're not doing bad.

"Sometimes there's a gap. I've felt that a couple of times but not very often. I can't think about what anyone else is thinking about us. We're working to improve and that's what we have to do."

United's 0-0 draw against AZ Alkmaar in the Europa League on Thursday stretched their winless run away from home to 10 games in all competitions, dating back to March.

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Sir Alex
Image: United have had four permanent managers since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013 and in that time have won just three major trophies

Despite that, Solskjaer has been credited with bringing through a number of the club's academy players, and he remains confident they will have an important role to play in bringing the glory days back to Old Trafford.

"I'm ready to see these boys blossom," the Norwegian added. "There's not many clubs with our stature that play the young players that we do.

"They'll have a chance to come through and we're sure that some of these will be part of a successful team."

United have scored just seven goals in their last nine games and head to second-from-bottom Newcastle in the Premier League on Sunday - live on Sky Sports.

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Pressure is already building on Newcastle boss Steve Bruce after they were thrashed 5-0 at Leicester last weekend, and Solskjaer is expecting a tough challenge against the former United defender's side.

"As managers, we don't want to give anyone any favours when we play each other," he said. "Brucey's going to set up a team to win and I'm going to set up a team to try to win.

"We're going there, it's a great stadium to play at and we're looking forward to the game."

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Pogba set to miss Newcastle trip

Paul Pogba
Image: Paul Pogba is set to miss Manchester United's trip to Newcastle

Paul Pogba will "probably not" return from injury for Sunday's trip to Newcastle, according to Solskjaer.

Pogba, 26, was left at home for Thursday's goalless draw at AZ Alkmaar after playing through injury against Rochdale and Arsenal. United have also been without Anthony Martial and Luke Shaw since August's home defeat to Crystal Palace due to injury.

Paul Pogba during Manchester United vs Arsenal at Old Trafford 0:39
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits Paul Pogba is unlikely to be fit to face Newcastle on Sunday as he recovers from an ankle injury

Solskjaer says he is unlikely to bring any of United's injured players back into the fold at St James' Park on Sunday as he looks ahead to the looming visit of Liverpool after the international break.

Asked if he expects anyone to return to fitness by Sunday, Solskjaer said: "Probably not. There's an international break as well. It might be a time for us to give them that 10-14 days extra to be ready for Liverpool."

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How to watch Newcastle vs Man Utd

Newcastle vs Man Utd
Image: Newcastle vs Manchester United is live on Sky Sports

Newcastle vs Man Utd is live on Super Sunday from 4pm; Kick-off is at 4.30pm.

Sky Sports customers can watch in-game clips in the live match blog on the Sky Sports website and app.

Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the final whistle.

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