July 24 – Manchester United have endured a difficult Premier League season but sealing third place with a win over Leicester City on Sunday will be further evidence of the team’s potential, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said on Friday.
Solskjaer oversaw the Old Trafford club’s worst start to a top-flight campaign in 30 years and faced questions about his suitability for the club’s rebuild but a youthful United have turned things around in the second half of the season.
Having gone unbeaten in their last 13 league games, United can secure their highest finish since the 2017-18 season when Jose Mourinho guided them to second place.
“Let’s get this game out of the way and get third position and continue the growth and journey this team is on. We’ve had some hard times this season, some setbacks, but we have shown this is a team going places,” Solskjaer told reporters.
Solskjaer, whose team last tasted defeat in the competition against Burnley in January, said the addition of playmaker Bruno Fernandes was among the factors in their resurgence.
“Many factors, many reasons… belief, if you look at that game against Burnley we should have won that, that’s football and the Premier League,” Solskjaer said.
“The belief, confidence, change of atmosphere, Bruno coming in has made a massive difference. We’ve got our best players fit and raring to go… the boys worked hard, the fitness levels, the mental robustness is so much better than last season.
“… I’m delighted with how the development looks.”
Solskjaer said that their sole focus was picking up three points against fifth-placed Leicester.
“… We’ve given ourselves a good chance of Champions League next year but we can’t go in thinking about the outcome, we’ve just got to perform at a high enough level and get a result,” Solskjaer added.
“We want to dominate the game… One lapse of concentration can hurt you… this is a journey for this team.” (Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru Editing by Toby Davis)