Sacked Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer accepts he paid the price for not being able to "take the next step".

Last season the Norwegian finished a distant second to Manchester City – 12 points behind in the Premier League – and lost the Europa League final to Villarreal after a marathon penalty shoot-out.

However, after a run of just two victories in eight matches – which included a 5-0 defeat to arch-rivals Liverpool and a derby loss to Manchester City – the final straw was Saturday's embarrassing 4-1 reverse at Watford.

"I wanted us to take the next step to challenge for the league, to win trophies… but unfortunately I couldn’t get the results we needed and it’s time for me to step aside," he told MUTV.

"Second place last season ahead of arguably one of the best teams in Europe (Liverpool), I think that’s a great achievement as well.

"And we were so close in Europe. Sometimes that’s the fine margin for you, one penalty."

United do not have a succession plan in place and, as a result, first-team coach Michael Carrick has been placed in caretaker charge while the club looks to appoint an interim manager to get them to the end of the season.

Former defender Gary Neville believes the club’s search should take them in the direction of former Tottenham and current Paris St Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino.

"They are waiting on Mauricio Pochettino not being successful at another club. If he was to win the Champions League, then PSG wouldn’t let him go," Neville told Sky Sports.

"He’s always been a stand-out candidate and the only name I've mentioned as someone I thought really suited Manchester United in terms of core principles and values and how they play, how he acts and behaves.

"They haven’t planned or prepared for this, it’s deteriorated so badly and so quickly; Michael takes over now, the only option the club had was to put someone in to the end of the season, that’s been obvious for the last few weeks.

"If there was a world-class manager sat on the shelf ready to go two or three weeks ago, I think Ole would have been gone by now."