Man Utd interim boss Michael Carrick has four issues to solve after replacing Solskjaer

Manchester United sack Ole Gunnar after Watford defeat

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was finally sacked as Manchester United boss after a month of speculation that he would be axed following poor results. Michael Carrick has come in as their interim boss, but he has a lot of work to do if United are to climb back up the table. Express Sport takes a look at four issues he could face.

Restoring confidence

Confidence is at an all-time low at Old Trafford.

In the last month alone the club have suffered 5-0, 2-0 and 4-1 defeats in the Premier League as the Red Devils have picked up just one win in seven in the league.

With the club in seventh place, United are on track to record their worst Premier League position since the competition’s inception in 1992.

And Carrick’s first job will be to stop confidence plummeting and give United leverage to climb back up the league table.

Get Ronaldo firing

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored just four goals in nine Premier League games this season, his worst return ratio for goals since he was 21.

A slight drop-off in quality could be expected of a 36-year-old, but the Portugal star has scored just one goal in seven in the league.

That is not good enough for a player of his calibre and wage, and Carrick will look to sort that out instantly.

But with Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford and Edinson Cavani all capable of playing down the middle, he could even opt not to play Ronaldo at all.

Include Van de Beek

It was sort of fitting that Donny van de Beek scored the last goal of the Solskjaer era.

Having been frozen out of the first-team photo for no apparent reason under Solskjaer, he had only made 15 minutes of Premier League action this season prior to the Watford defeat.

Having come on at half-time, the Dutchman scored almost immediately to give United a lifeline before Harry Maguire’s sending off.

And if Carrick has seen something in him, Van de Beek’s United career could finally get underway.


Halt the defensive rot

United’s defensive record is horrendous this season – boasting the joint-second worst defence in the league.

With only bottom two sides Norwich and Newcastle conceding more than United’s 21 league goals in just 12 games, the defending at Old Trafford is an obvious reason as to why they are playing so poorly.

Harry Maguire’s sending off has not helped the cause with Raphael Varane’s injury woes.

And Carrick will have to immediately focus on stopping the defensive frailties that plague the Old Trafford club.

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