Manchested United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said he is already looking ahead to next season as the club are behind where he wants them to be in their development under his watch.
Defeat at Watford on Sunday left United eighth in the table and seven points off the Champions League spots, and Solskjaer said his aim for the remaining five months of the campaign is to build a squad for next season.
“We’re halfway through this season and we knew this season was going to be a season of some ups and downs,” Solskjaer said. “This season will be used to find a team and a squad for next season, but hopefully we can speed this process up by getting more results.
“But at the moment we’re a little bit further behind than what I was hoping for, yeah.”
The only positive after a dire performance at Vicarage Road was the return of Paul Pogba, who impressed after coming off the bench following more than two months on the sidelines with a foot injury.
United are back in action against Newcastle at Old Trafford on Thursday and Solskjaer is considering throwing the Frenchman in from the start.
“Let’s see how he reacts, how he feels,” he added. “He did really well when he came on.
“Big, big plus. It might be that we do get him in from the start because you just want to get [him] more and more into the team when he plays.
“Paul is the best all-round midfielder in the world. He can do all roles, but if I play him low, he should have played high. And if you play him high, you should have played low. There’s always going to be that discussion with him, but it’s great to have him back.”