Louis van Gaal wants a response from his Manchester United side after Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Bournemouth but he insists they are still in the title battle.
Junior Stanislas scored directly from a corner after just two minutes to give Bournemouth the lead and former United striker Josh King grabbed the winner for the hosts after Marouane Fellaini’s first-half equaliser.
The defeat to the Cherries rounded off a miserable week for Van Gaal, who saw his side dumped out of the Champions League following a 3-2 loss at Wolfsburg on Tuesday.
The Old Trafford outfit are now without a win in five games in all competitions and Van Gaal has challenged his side to go on a winning run to ensure they remain in the title race.
“Of course I am concerned because this is not usual for United. But we will work hard – just as I have always done in my 35 years as a manger,” he said.
“We have to keep fighting – but now we have to win three in a row just to be up there still after Christmas.
“We are in a very difficult position because of all the injuries – and that we have to play with a lot of youngsters. But I still believe we have the squad to win the title.”
United face Norwich (h), Stoke (a) and Chelsea (h) in their remaining Premier League fixtures in December.
Van Gaal’s side are currently fourth in the Premier League table and they could be as far as six points away from top spot after the latest round of fixtures are completed, if Leicester beat Chelsea on Monday.
Manchester United are 7.50 to win the Premier League outright and 1.44 to beat Norwich in their next game.