Ole Gunnar Solskjaer warns his Manchester United stars not to ‘think for one second that you’ve cracked it’ if they go top of the Premier League with a win over Burnley… as he admits their poor start to the season made it ‘harder’ to look at the table
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says it was hard to look at the table earlier this season
- The Manchester United boss warned his players not to think they’ve cracked it
- The Red Devils can go top of the Premier League if they beat Burnley on Tuesday
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits it was hard looking at the Premier League table earlier this season – and has warned his players not to think they’ve cracked it now Manchester United can go top.
If United win their game in hand at Burnley on Tuesday night they will leapfrog old rivals Liverpool into first place ahead of their top-of-the-table clash at Anfield on Sunday.
That prospect looked unlikely earlier this season when United started the campaign later than most other clubs and then struggled to get out of the bottom half following home defeats to Crystal Palace, Tottenham and Arsenal.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer warned his players not to think they’ve ‘cracked it’ if they go top of the Premier League with a win over Burnley
‘Sometimes with the results we got in the beginning, it made it more difficult for the players and easier for people to criticise us and the table, and maybe worry a little bit, but a game in hand is only good if you win it,’ said Solskjaer.
‘We had a difficult start against Palace and Tottenham and it made it harder for us to look at the table. Even if you don’t look at it, people are always talking about your position. Now it’s a different challenge. It’s Burnley away and we’re in this position.
‘We have to be aggressive and go into every game humble and work hard – don’t think for one second that you’ve cracked it.
The Manchester United manager admitted it was tough to look at the Premier League table at the start of the season
‘The league table doesn’t matter now. March and April is when the league will be decided. This is our catch-up game because we started later.
‘It is about getting performances right and points on the board and not let teams get away with it. We have done well.’
Solskjaer was a perpetual title contender at United under Sir Alex Ferguson but believes it is a more interesting race this season following Liverpool’s canter last term.
‘All the teams want to take a grip on the league but it is the type of season where there will be ups and downs and less consistency,’ he said. ‘As a fan, it’s more interesting with more teams rather than one running away with it.
‘It’s a different ball game to when I played. We finished third once but now so many teams challenge and look at themselves as candidates.
Solskjaer perpetual title contender at United under Sir Alex Ferguson but believes it is a more interesting race with more teams involved
‘There weren’t that many teams able to challenge the top teams. In a good year, you (United) win, in a bad you are second or third. There are so many strong squads. It makes it more exciting than the last few seasons.
‘Since Sir Alex left it’s been second place, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh. It’s important to establish to ourselves in the top four. We’ve only done that three times since Sir Alex left.
‘We are better off this season than last season. We have scored more goals and got more points. But no-one remembers January league tables. It’s about developing this team and improving.’
United will be top of the league when they play Liverpool if they get a victory at Turf Moor
Paul Pogba, Luke Shaw, Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly – who suffered a neck injury in the FA Cup win over Watford – all trained at Carrington on Monday although Pogba and Bailly were not involved in the whole session.
‘All of them trained today,’ said Solskjaer, who will also have Edinson Cavani available again after suspension.
‘Paul and Eric didn’t do all of it but Luke and Victor did. Let’s see with Paul and Eric how they are tomorrow.’
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