David Beckham believes former team-mate Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is "doing a good job" at Manchester United despite the fact that the Red Devils are outside the Premier League's top four.
Solskjaer, 47, succeeded Jose Mourinho in the Old Trafford dugout in December of 2018. He enjoyed great success in an interim role, overseeing a run of 14 wins in 17 matches. But United's form has deteriorated sharply since he was given the job on a permanent basis in March:
United's campaign has been characterised by inconsistency. They have had fine wins over Chelsea, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City, and they are the only side to have taken any points off champions-elect Liverpool in the Premier League.
But defeats against bottom-half clubs such as Crystal Palace, West Ham United, Newcastle United, Bournemouth and Watford mean United are still outside the Premier League's top four with 11 games of the season remaining:
Beckham, though, told Sky Sports his fellow treble-winner deserves praise for the work he is doing:
"I think he's doing a good job. The fact that he's stepped in and stepped up, and that he continues to be positive about players, he's got that from the boss [Sir Alex Ferguson]. He would never criticise a player from his club and Ole has been exactly the same.
"He's still learning but he will protect his players and protect Manchester United. All of the fans will be behind him because he's a great person and because of what he's done for Manchester United over the years."
United endured an awful start to the year, winning just two of their first seven games in all competitions in 2020. Solskjaer has overseen an upturn in results recently, though, with United unbeaten in their past six while conceding just one goal.
On Sunday, they followed up their 2-0 league win at Chelsea with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Watford.
United cannot afford to slip back into inconsistency because they have three crucial matches in different competitions scheduled for the next eight days.
On Thursday, the Red Devils host Club Brugge in the second leg of their UEFA Europa League last-32 matchup, with the tie finely poised after a 1-1 draw in their first meeting. Then on Sunday, United face a trip to in-form Everton in the Premier League before March 5's FA Cup fifth-round clash against Derby County.
Solskjaer's future at United likely depends on whether he can win a trophy this season or guide the Red Devils into next term's UEFA Champions League—or both.
As such, anything other than three victories in their coming fixtures could deal a big blow to the Norwegian's prospects of continuing at the helm.