Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has picked out two of Manchester United’s most ‘influential’ players and has praised his side’s mental strength following their impressive recent form.
United have risen to second in the Premier League following a nine-game unbeaten run and can move level on points with league leaders Liverpool if they win their game in hand, a huge turnaround in fortunes following an indifferent start to the season.
Marcus Rashford’s stoppage-time winner against Wolves secured another three points for Solskjaer’s side on Tuesday evening and ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Aston Villa, Solskjaer has praised his side’s development when asked if the Red Devils now have a stronger mentality.
“Yeah, definitely. One, they’re two years older than when I came. Two, some of them are really strong personalities that we’ve brought in and they have really been a good influence,” he said at his pre-match press conference.
“I think we have competition for places, which means you cannot go around thinking that you can just fake your way through being part of this team because you only deserve to be in a team that you contribute to.
“I think everyone has just realised they are privileged to be part of Manchester United, such a fantastic club with a fantastic history. And when you are here, enjoy it as much as you can and maybe you will experience some fantastic times.
“We’ve got winners like Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic, who don’t really play every single game but are so influential in the group, in the build-up to games and even during games when they’re not playing.”
Solskjaer discussed his side’s late win over Wolves and says his side know that games can always be decided late on, outlining his belief that each of his squad has a role to play as United go in search of silverware this season.
“We have to know that games, so many games, are decided towards the end. It is very seldom that you can blow teams away and win at half-time. Then the subs will come on and make a difference.
“That has happened so many times for us and the belief is there, and the discipline is there to play a certain way. We’re getting more and more used to the way we want to play.
“We know we’ve got players who can win you a game in one second with an incredible pass, dribble or some skill. So, the belief is more and more there that we don’t have to press the panic button, yeah.”