Solskjaer: Our full focus is on Leicester
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes the players in and around his current first-team squad are fully aware of the challenges they face this season, as the Reds return to Premier League action against Leicester City on Saturday.
After the recent nternational break, the Norwegian thinks the squad he has assembled is more than capable of performing at the level he expects of them and challenging for silverware come the business end of the season.
The Reds are currently fourth in the Premier League table, just two points behind current league leaders Chelsea with only seven games played so far.
And Solskjaer admits a decent start in terms of points - United's 14 matches the tally of Manchester City and Liverpool - could have been better.
“You can’t keep on losing points and expect to be winning at the end, that’s the truth,” began Ole as he addressed the media earlier today.
“But in order to not lose points, you have to turn up in every single game knowing that teams like Aston Villa and Everton are very good sides.
“There will be times that we get more points than maybe we deserve, potentially the away game at Wolves, but if we had come away with just a draw there maybe we could take that because we didn’t deserve anymore.
“But on the other hand we deserved more against Everton and we deserved more against Aston Villa. Then the narrative out there is that we didn’t play well because we didn’t get the three points.”
United’s next six matches will test the resilience of the squad, as, after Leicester, Ole’s side face Atalanta at home in midweek before Liverpool visit the Theatre of Dreams next Sunday.
We then go to the capital the following weekend to face Spurs before Atalanta away in the Champions League on 2 November. The Manchester City is then the last game before the November international break.
With the return of Marcus Rashford and hopefully captain Harry Maguire to come in the next few weeks, Solskjaer understands that in order to be in contention come the business end of the season, points, not performances, is the most crucial factor - and that quest starts at the King Power Stadium this weekend.
“To go back to your point, performances don’t always guarantee you trophies and titles, so we need to have points to be in and around [the top] in May, that’s what we’re aiming for,” added the boss.
“Our full focus is only on Leicester and nothing else.
“It’s not about Liverpool, Tottenham and City, we know they’re coming up but we’ve got enough time to win every game now to rest and recover and be ready for them.”