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Solskjaer refusing to quit Man Utd despite senior stars losing faith in his tactics

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OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER is sure he can turn around Manchester United’s fortunes and will not walk away from Old Trafford.

Boss Solskjaer returned to work this week refreshed after time back in Norway during the international break.

He immediately went about trying to lift the mood at the Carrington training ground as he bids to put a run of six defeats in 12 games behind him.

United are facing a defining period, with an away game at Watford on Saturday followed by a make or break trip to Villarreal in their penultimate Champions League Group F game.

If they were to fail to advance from the group stage for a second season running that could turn even the most ardent Solskjaer supporters in the boardroom.

But despite home defeats to Liverpool 5-0 and Manchester City 2-0, the manager still believes they are not far away from challenging for honours.

Fans who sat through those last two Premier League home games will need some convincing, however, with United now sixth, nine points behind leaders Chelsea with 11 games gone.

They have also been knocked out the Carabao Cup by West Ham.

A number of leading players are growing disillusioned with tactics and team selection.

And the club have given up on signing Paul Pogba to a new deal. He is currently recovering from a thigh injury at a warm-weather camp in Dubai.

Stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes, understandably, believe the team should be performing much better.

And fringe players including Donny van de Beek and Jesse Lingard cannot understand their lack of game time.

Both will be considering moves in the New Year transfer window.

Solskjaer, however, remains upbeat in the face of adversity.

OLE’S LONG-TERM PLAN
It was only May that United secured runners-up spot after third place the season before.

While the manager accepts his job is being judged game to game, he is frustrated there is not a greater acceptance of what has been achieved over the past two years.

He agreed a long-term plan with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward to get the club back on track after the rollercoaster of life under Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho.

The problem is, it is eight years without a title, four managers and around £1billion spent on players.

The board have made moves to communicate better with fans groups following protests after the bungled European Super League bid.

The anti-Glazer sentiment has since died down.

But the owning family know if the current crisis continues, the anger will probably turn back their way, despite having backed each of the last three managers to a huge degree in the transfer market.

RODGERS AN OPTION?
Fans do not want to turn on club legend Solskjaer, not least because of his last-gasp winner in the 1999 Champions League final which sealed their incredible Treble.

But the board know they would not be doing their jobs properly if they had not made contingency plans in case the current crisis continues.

That is why a leading agent was sounded out over a replacement for the Norwegian, with Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers the favourite.

The club remains stable off the pitch, with more positive financial results announced yesterday and Woodward insisting success on the pitch remains the priority.

Of course, victory over Watford, away to Villarreal and an unlikely triumph over table-toppers Chelsea a week on Sunday and all will seem well with the world again.

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U.S. swimmer Alvarez saved from drowning by coach at world championships in Budapest (Photos)

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Anita Alvarez loses consciousness in pool at world championships in Budapest

American artistic swimmer Anita Alvarez was in danger of drowning after losing consciousness in the pool at the world championships in Budapest before being rescued by her coach Andrea Fuentes.

Spaniard Fuentes, a four-time Olympic medalist in synchronized swimming, jumped into the pool after she saw Alvarez sink to the bottom at the end of her solo free final routine.

She was given medical attention beside the pool before being taken away on a stretcher.

It was the second time Fuentes has had to rescue Alvarez after she leapt into the pool during an Olympic qualification event last year and pulled her to safety along with the American’s swim partner Lindi Schroeder.

“Anita is much better, she is already at her best. It was a good scare, to be honest,” Fuentes told Spanish newspaper Marca.

“I jumped into the water again because I saw that no one, no lifeguard, was jumping in. I got a little scared because she wasn’t breathing, but now she’s fine. She has to rest.”

In a statement on the US Artistic Swimming Instagram page, Fuentes said 25-year-old Alvarez would be assessed by doctors on Thursday before a decision was made on her participation in Friday’s team event.

SEE PHOTOS BELOW

A member of Team USA (R) swims to recover USA's Anita Alvarez (L), from the bottom of the pool.
A member of Team USA (R) swims to recover USA’s Anita Alvarez (L), from the bottom of the pool.
USA's Anita Alvarez is recovered from the bottom of the pool by a team member after the incident.
USA’s Anita Alvarez is recovered from the bottom of the pool by a team member after the incident.
She was given medical attention beside the pool before being taken away on a stretcher.
She was given medical attention beside the pool before being taken away on a stretcher.

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Serie A: Pogba agrees deal with Juventus

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Juventus have reached an agreement in principle to sign Paul Pogba, according to Sky Italia.

Pogba is a free agent after leaving Manchester United this summer.

It is believed that small details of the contract are being sorted out. It will either be a four-year contract or a three-year deal with an option for a further year.

Pogba will officially sign the contract at the start of July.

The move to Juventus would mark a return to a club where Pogba spent four years before rejoining United in 2016.

Manchester City also made a bid to sign Pogba from their bitter rivals, but the player opted against it and has now gone back to Italy.

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LaLiga fixtures for 2022/2023 season confirmed

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LaLiga fixtures for 2022/2023 season

The LaLiga fixture list for the 2022/2023 season was released by the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) on Thursday.

Real Madrid will open their campaign with a trip to newly promoted Almeria, while Barcelona are home to Rayo Vallecano.

The two rivals will face off in the first Clasico on the weekend of October 16.

The game on Match Day 9, will be played at Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium, with the return fixture at Barcelona’s Camp Nou taking place on the weekend of March 19, 2023.

Atletico Madrid, who finished third last season, begin the season away at Getafe while Sevilla, who finished fourth in the final Champions League spot, will travel to Osasuna.

The 2022/23 LaLiga season will begin on the weekend of August 14, 2022, and end on the weekend of June 4, 2023.

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