Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Mike Phelan.

Ole: Top-four spot is our only focus

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to see Manchester United back challenging at the very top of the Premier League table, and admits he's not enjoyed seeing our two fiercest rivals compete for the title this season.

Both Liverpool and Manchester City have matched each other stride for stride over the course of the campaign, something which has been tough for United fans to take.  

The battle to win the league will certainly take a drastic twist one way or another on Wednesday when we host City. An away win will see our cross-city rivals return to the top of the table but, should we win or draw, it will hand the initiative to Liverpool with just three games remaining.

'We must focus on moving forward'Video

Despite that, Ole insists the title race has no bearing on United’s mindset ahead of Wednesday’s game, as we aim to secure a top-four finish.  

“It’s not about taking something away from others,”
the boss said in Tuesday’s pre-match press conference at the Aon Training Complex. 

“We have to want to overtake them, and not just because it’s City and Liverpool. For a supporter, as I am, and as a manager now as well, we know [them well] because they are so close in the vicinity. 

“We want to be the best, we have been the best and it’s not nice seeing those two at the top.

While Ole is aiming to get United back to the very top of English football, he knows it will take time to reduce the gap.

“You cannot expect things to happen overnight,” he said. “We know that and it will happen gradually and we have to be realistic enough as a club that we have to take it step by step. That’s not changing 10 players now and bringing 10 players in.

“It’s slowly, but surely. As I’ve said many times [it has to be the] right quality, right personality, right mentality, standards to get us back to where we want to get to.

“The last 18 games we’re not far away from them [Liverpool and City], but it’s doing that over a course of a season. We’ve done it for half a season now to be up there. Let’s see.” 

Top 10 derby goals at Old TraffordVideo

Ole previously said he wanted to pick up 12 points form the remaining 15 available, but Sunday’s loss against Everton means we must win all of our final four games to accomplish that target. However, the boss knows it’s something we’re capable of.

“For these players it’s possible, but we’ve got to change our mindsets,
“ Ole added. ”
We’ve got to be ready for it. We can’t sulk, we can’t be dwelling on whatever’s happened in the last few weeks. We’ve got to be ready and we know that football changes like this. 

“It’s on days - certain days, you’re lucky, you win games, you’re unlucky, you lose games. But in the long run that’s standards, the identity, the professionalism, that’s your value as a footballer that will take over and make you successful in the end. But short term, definitely we can win these four.
“ 

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