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Defeat at Wolves a big step backwards: Ole

United boss Solskjaer says defeat by Wolves was the poorest performance of his tenure

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted Manchester United produced the poorest performance of his reign as Wolverhampton Wanderers sent them crashing out of the FA Cup yesterday morning (Singapore time) with a 2-1 quarter-final win.

But United's interim manager was remarkably upbeat despite his side's flat performance, saying they had plenty more to fight for as they aim for a top-four finish in the English Premier League and look forward to a Champions League last-eight tie against Barcelona.

United were well beaten by an eager Wolves side who scored two goals in six minutes in the second half through Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota, with Marcus Rashford's injury-time effort a mere consolation.

Before yesterday, Solskjaer had presided over a run of just two defeats in 18 games since replacing Jose Mourinho last December, progressing to the quarter-finals of the Champions League and the FA Cup.

But United now go into the international break with back-to-back defeats after losing to Arsenal last week, with Rashford's goal their only real chance at Molineux, reported AFP.

"Today was the poorest performance we've had since I've been here," said Solskjaer.

"It was a big step backwards.

"There was a lack of urgency going forward and a lack of forward passing and a lack of regains.

"We felt too comfortable in possession and we never put their 'keeper under pressure or their defenders under pressure."

But the 46-year-old delivered a positive message to fans.

"We're in a great position in the league, we've got the Champions League," he said.

"You can't sulk for too long.

"We've got so much to play for. Man United in April and May always find their form.

"We can't wait for the challenge when Barcelona come."

Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo, meanwhile, was delighted after his side reached the club's first FA Cup semi-final for 21 years.

"It means a lot of course. The FA Cup is the oldest competition and we played well," he said.

"We achieved it with the amazing support of our fans believing in us and the noise was fantastic.

"When we achieved it, we achieved it together.

"Now we have to prepare for the next one."

The EPL's all-time top scorer Alan Shearer said Wolves were "much the better team" while the Red Devils looked "shattered".

The former Newcastle United striker said on the BBC: "Wolves thoroughly deserved it, they were much the better team, their game plan worked to perfection.

"They knew they would get chances in the second half and they took them.

"Manchester United looked absolutely shattered."

His former England teammate Martin Keown felt that United seemed too preoccupied with stopping Wolves playing, rather than focusing on their own game.

He said on the BBC: "I don't think the system has helped Manchester United particularly, they have almost been overly worried about stopping Wolves, and haven't been able to do it."