Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists many of his players have the Manchester United “DNA” after criticism of the side’s thrashing at Everton.
Manchester United lost 4-0 at Goodison Park on Sunday – their sixth defeat in their past eight games in all competitions.
The defeat leaves Solskjaer’s side three points behind third-placed Tottenham and fourth-placed Chelsea and two behind fifth-placed Arsenal, and will miss out on Champions League qualification if they end the season in their current sixth position.
Manchester United host local rivals Manchester City on Wednesday at Old Trafford, knowing Pep Guardiola’s team will return to the top of the Premier League, above Liverpool, with a victory.
The Norwegian believes Wednesday’s Manchester derby gives his side the “perfect” opportunity to respond, but has warned his players to be ready for City’s “pressing” and “aggression”.
“They will snap at your ankles and heels and kick you,” said the 46-year-old.
“They will not allow us easy counter-attacking. There will be fouls. No doubt about it because they commit so many players forward and will be stopping us as high as they can.
“There is no hiding place on the pitch. The supporters will back you as long as the effort is there.”
Solskjaer, who apologised to fans for the performance against Everton, remains confident he can take the club where they want to be after been appointed on a permanent basis in March.
“I am confident in my team and myself,” he added. “I am ready to take this challenge on. I know it is a big challenge. That is why I came.
“I don’t like losing but it is a great challenge. But when you have bad results you have to be confident enough to say ‘this is the way we are going to do it’. We are planning ahead – doing what we think is right for the club.
“I like all these boys. I love them. They are great lads. I have to manage for the club. I help the players but I manage for the club. I am putting all my efforts into doing what is right for the club.”