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Soccer-Solskjaer grateful for backing from Manchester United board

·2-min read
Premier League - Liverpool v Manchester United

(Reuters) - Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said on Tuesday he is grateful to the club's hierarchy for backing him to get the job done despite a poor run of form, a day after Chelsea sacked Frank Lampard when they went through a slump.

Chelsea dismissed Lampard following 18 months in charge after a disappointing run of results -- despite spending over 200 million pounds ($274.28 million) in the close season -- for the club to sit ninth in the standings.

United are top of the league standings but were knocked out of the Champions League in the group stage last month and Solskjaer explained their long-term plan accounted for some poor spells.

"We know we would have some tough periods... We have been through two or three spells of bad form but they stood strong," Solskjaer told reporters ahead of Wednesday's home game against Sheffield United.

"We looked at the squad and the situation we were in. We had a longer term plan in place. We knew there were going to be some patchy periods and we had to stay strong mentally.

"The leadership they have shown has been strong and steady, I'm grateful for that."

Solskjaer said striker Marcus Rashford trained on Tuesday and is available for selection after he tweaked his knee.

The Norwegian also heaped praise on 33-year-old Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani, who led the line impressively in Sunday's 3-2 FA Cup win over Liverpool.

"When a striker of that age runs almost 12 kilometres... he chases down the centre back every time their keeper has the ball, he tackles the centre midfielders, he makes a mistake and then gets back in his own 18-yard box," Solskjaer said of Cavani.

"His reaction, his work rate, his habits, his humility... We can go on and on. His experience and attitude has been a lesson for every single one of us."

($1 = 0.7292 pounds)

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, Editing by William Maclean)