Despite enduring an inconsistent start to the campaign, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has insisted that his Manchester United side is heading in the right direction, as they prepare to face Southampton on Sunday afternoon.
Solskjaer is now almost two years into the job at Old Trafford having stepped into Jose Mourinho’s shoes in December 2018, initially on an interim basis, yet doubt remains whether he is the man to lead Manchester United back to the top of English and European football.
The former United forward led the club an unlikely third-place finish last season and reached three cup semi-finals, with many believing that they would kick on and be genuine title challengers this term.
However, after a below-par transfer window the season got off to the worst possible start with defeat to Crystal Palace in their opening fixture and later being hammered 6-1 by Spurs, and while there have been some notable victories since, Solskjaer’s side have been so far incapable of putting a run of form together.
That inconsistency has put intense pressure on the Norwegian’s position as manager and led many to question his ability to lead the club back to the glory days, yet Solskjaer himself believes that his squad are improving and that success is not far away.
“We live in a results business and all I want is for Man United to improve as a team and as a club,” Solskjaer said ahead of Sunday’s game with Southampton.
🗣️ Ole on Southampton: "They've done well and have made great improvements.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) November 27, 2020
“I have very good dialogue with the club all of the time. You have to think long-term and short-term – and I would never ever think that this is my chance to prove a point and that it’s all about me. That’s not what it’s about here. Every decision I make is for the good of Manchester United.
“For me, it’s about results and if we keep improving we have a very good opportunity because this team and this squad is going places.”
The former Molde and Cardiff boss has also insisted that his side are beginning to get more consistency in their results, particularly since the new year, and that it’s only a matter of time before they are back towards the top of the table.
“Teams that win the league put good runs together, consistent ones. I know this season is more uncertain, but if you look at the last 40 games with this team, we win two, draw one, win two, lose one. So we are getting consistent,” he said.
“Look at the stats since we got the latest transfers and since Bruno came in. Since the Burnley game, only Liverpool have taken more points, so we are getting there. We are getting better and better.
“We did not start the League campaign on a par with everyone else because of Europe and a pre-season we didn’t have. Now we are showing what we’re capable of. If we carry on improving and keep the mindset, I am very sure we will move up.
“This season is very unpredictable and the main thing is to keep right mindset. You can forgive any mistake as long as you have the right mindset and approach – and I feel we are getting there.”