PAUL INCE believes Manchester United’s loss to Paris Saint-Germain proved they are a long way off the top teams and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer failed his first real test.
The French champions eased to a 2-0 win at Old Trafford last night in the first leg to inflict a first defeat in charge for the interim Norweigan boss.
Ince, who made 206 appearances in the United midfield between 1989 and 1995, has previously claimed giving Solskjaer the job permanently would be a mistake.
After a miserable night at Old Trafford that saw United’s Champions League dream in tatters, Ince stressed that the result proved the Red Devils still had a long way to go.
He said: “I’ve seen people describing Man United’s loss to PSG as a ‘reality check’, but I disagree. I don’t believe anyone truly ever thought that they were equally matched, it’s just that the injuries to Edison Cavani and Neymar gave United false hope.
“They had the best chance they could of getting something out of the game because of those injuries, but the fact is, they’re just nowhere near as good.
“I’ve been saying for weeks that it’s wrong to get carried away with United at the moment.
“It’s not to take anything away from the job Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has done, he’s done brilliantly, but the gap between PSG – even without two of their best players – is enormous.
“There’s a huge gulf between United and the top teams, and the PSG game proved that – it was men against boys.
“I’m not being disrespectful to Ole, or to the sides he’s played so far, but aside from Tottenham, he’s not been really tested. That Champions League game was a real, tough test.
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“Everything has ran smoothly, no major injuries or ugly fixtures. But now, Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial look like they’ll be out, and Paul Pogba got himself suspended for the away leg.
“We will see if he can come with adversity, I’d call it a true test of his management skills. We will get to see what Ole is made of.
There’s still a glimmer of hope for the second leg, of course there is, but if it were me I’d focus on the Premier League now and the massive games they have coming up.
“Realistically, winning anything in Europe just got a lot harder, so trying to finish fourth should be the goal. That, I believe, will also determine who the board pick for next manager.”
Paul Ince was speaking exclusively to Paddy Power News. To read more, visit news.paddypower.com