Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has sent a message warning Manchester United’s journey doesn’t stop on Sunday when the Red Devils take on Leicester City in a crunch top-four showdown at the King Power Stadium.
We are on a journey, Solskjaer explains. One that has definitely seen us make positive steps under his guidance this season, but it’s meaningless unless we have something to show for it.
The Manchester United manager has again set his sights on catching rivals Liverpool and Manchester City at the top of the Premier League.
Going into the last game of the Premier League season, Liverpool are champions with 33 more points than United, currently in third. It would take a huge leap in form for us to make up ground on them next season — but who knows? Stranger things have happened.
“We’ve not ended up anywhere yet,” Solskjaer relied when asked about United’s chance to finish third place in the Premier League. “If we get a result against Leicester I think people will say we’ve not had a bad journey this season. But whatever happens, it won’t be the end of the journey because we’ve still got some catching up to do on the two teams ahead of us.”
(Quotes via The Guardian – under an embargo since Friday’s press conference)
There is still a lot of work to do before United can lift the Premier League title again. We are not as close as some overly optimistic supporters will lead you to believe, and I think Solskjaer knows that. The question is will the manager be backed to build a team that will take the Premier League trophy back to Old Trafford?
We will reflect on Solskjaer’s first full season as United manager as a success if United win or draw tomorrow. Lose, and possibly drop out of the top-four, and questions will be asked.
It’s a thin rope but I believe in Solskjaer and desperately want him to succeed. He deserves time.
Solskjaer was quite assertive talking about the match, too, saying: “If you want to be part of Manchester United you have to get used to pressure in the final match of the season. It’s nothing new, it’s what the club has been built on. We have given ourselves a fantastic chance to end the season on a high, and now it’s up to us to take it.”
This journey doesn’t end Sunday either. Solskjaer even said it’s not the most important game of the season!
He added: “It’s not the most important game of the season, it’s just the next game, and you can ask anyone in football, the next game is always the most important.
“The result won’t define our season because we’ve already had man y defining moments this season. Bruno Fernandes coming in made a massive difference, and I think our overall fitness and mental robustness is so much better now than it was last season.”
United can also qualify for next season’s Champions League by winning the Europa League next month.