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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

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Neville says Conte was never an option as he makes Solskjaer prediction

Gary Neville is backing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to remain in charge of Manchester United until the end of the season and says Antonio Conte was never an option.

The Red Devils sit sixth in the Premier League table, nine points behind leaders Chelsea, following their latest defeat to rivals Manchester City on Sunday.

Solskjaer’s men have now won just once in six league outings and suffered humiliating defeats to Liverpool and City during that time.

Calls for the Norwegian to be sacked have grown stronger in recent weeks, and after Tottenham parted ways with Nuno Espirito Santo, free agent Antonio Conte was once again linked with a return to the Premier League.

United could have chosen to part with Solskjaer after the Liverpool defeat and opted for Conte but instead Spurs made their move to bring the Italian back to the Premier League.

While the likes of Rio Ferdinand has now called on Solskjaer to move on, Neville believes Solskjaer will be given until the end of the season.

‘The club aren’t going to do anything here. Getting Antonio Conte was never, ever going to happen. The hierarchy were never going to appoint him, as great a manager as he is,’ the former United defender said on the Gary Neville podcast.

‘The plan all season has been to stick with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer until the end of the season, and that’s where I’m at, even after Saturday.

‘But it’s tough going. Being that far behind the top with 11 games gone, that can’t happen. He’s progressed from sixth to third to second, and should have won the Europa League final against Villarreal. I hark back to that because when you lose finals, it has a real impact on players.

‘If you win it, the medal around your neck, you get used to winning. Going out of the Carabao Cup to West Ham – it’s a big problem. That can’t happen, it’s a trophy you can win.

‘The league has almost gone, the Champions League is a long shot because of the quality of teams. The FA Cup and Carabao Cup cannot be dismissed, and going out to West Ham was a really bad situation for the club to be in.

‘I think the fans left this stadium on Saturday tired and drained from what they’ve seen. Thinking: “Where are we on our journey as a club?”‘

MORE : Edinson Cavani ‘put out’ by Manchester United’s request to give Jadon Sancho the No.7 shirt

MORE : Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ‘simply has to’ start picking Jadon Sancho for Manchester United, says Paul Parker

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