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Solskjaer: 'We've let ourselves down.'

Solskjaer after the Red Devils were beaten by the Hornets: “The positive reaction was too late - it was at half-time.”

A dejected Bruno Fernandes and Solskjaer after Watford loss at Vicarage Road [Getty]
A dejected Bruno Fernandes and Solskjaer after Watford loss at Vicarage Road [Getty]

FT: Watford 4-1 Man Utd.

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said we have let ourselves down after Watford spanked them 4-1 on Saturday afternoon.

United could have fallen behind earlier in the sixth minute if it were not for David de Gea, who saved Ismaila Sarr’s twice-taken penalty.

The Red Devils put in a below-par display in the first half at Vicarage Road as they went 2-0 down before half-time, thanks to goals from Joshua King and Ismaila Sarr.

Substitute Donny van de Beek reduced the deficit early in the second half, heading home from close range as both sides had chances to score again in the crazy thriller at Vicarage Road.

Midway through the second half, England defender Harry Maguire was sent off for a second booking, and Joao Pedro's stoppage-time goal made it 3-1 to the Hornets.

Moments before the final whistle, Emmanuel Dennis fired home to make it 4-1, leading to more questions about the future of Solskjaer.

"The first-half is the worst we've played and it's hard for me to explain why."

Speaking to BBC Match of the Day, Solskjaer asserted: "The positive reaction was too late - it was at half-time. The Second-half was a good performance until we got the sending off. The first-half is the worst we've played and it's hard for me to explain why we played the way we did and allowed them to get in our box from nothing. The goalkeeper could go up to the halfway line and put it in the box - we were outfought.

"Very hurt - when you play in the Premier League you have got to turn up against good players and good opposition like this. The boys are in a terrible place in their heads now - we have let ourselves down and the fans down. It's hard to stand here and explain that but that's football and we have to take the flack for it.

"You look at the chances they created and the goals they scored, they out-fought us, they won challenges they won second balls. Nothing you would be surprised about them trying to do. I'm just disappointed we couldn't deal with it better.

On Harry Maguire's sending off, the Norwegian said: "First yellow card is offside so it shouldn't be a yellow card, the second one is a bad touch but we played well up to that point and created chances, scored a good goal. Donny [van de Beek] and Anthony [Martial] were really positive. For me, that shows the character. Two lads that haven't played, they came out like we should've done from the start. That's the question, how does it take 45 minutes for us to start playing? It's happened often this season.

When quizzed if he is feeling safe in the job, he replied: "I've never said I feel safe - I will never say that I feel safe. I work for the club and with the club as hard as I can with a great staff and any conversation between me and the club is not for me and you, it's between us.

"I'm the manager and I will take the flack and take the responsibility - the players are working as hard as they can. The fans are really disappointed I understand we all understand. They've supported us through thick and thin, they've been with us through this rebuild. We get to this season after finishing third and second and we sign top players, expectations go up and we've not had a result or the performances. They're right to say their opinion, I'm not surprised after a day like this because for the first-half we were way below what we can do and what we should do."

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