WOLVERHAMPTON, England — Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted Manchester United cannot afford many more slip ups in the race for the top four after a 2-1 defeat to Wolves.
United slipped to their third defeat in four games in all competitions and their second at Molineux in the space of three weeks to remain fifth in the Premier League table on a night when they could have risen to third with a victory.
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Solskjaer had set his team a target of 15 points from the last seven games meaning United now need to win five of their remaining six fixtures.
“I’ve said we need 15 points in last seven games or 18 from the last eight,” Solskjaer told a news conference. “We’ve got three against Watford so now we need 15 in the last six, so we don’t have room for many more losses, no.”
United are battling Totttenham, Chelsea and Arsenal for two places in next season’s Champions League. Their run-in includes a trip to Everton and home games against Manchester City and Chelsea but Solskjaer insists he is not concerned by the tricky fixture list as the campaign reaches its climax.
“It is a difficult run but we are a very good team so it will be difficult for those who play against us,” said Solskjaer. “This was always going to be a very tough game and the performance deserved a win.”
United could have been 3-0 up inside the first 20 minutes before Diogo Jota cancelled out Scott McTominay‘s first senior goal. Ashley Young was shown a red card in the second half after picking up two bookings inside five minutes before Chris Smalling scored an own goal 13 minutes from time.
“It was a very good start, we should have been 3-0 up and we created our own downfall really,” said Solskjaer. “Very good performance until they scored the second goal, I have to say, apart from 10 minutes after they scored the one-each goal when we seemed flustered but we got back into it and but for their keeper we should have won this game.
“It was probably a bad decision [from Young] but in the heat of the moment he reached the ball but it was just a little bit too high. It made it more difficult.”