Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has told his Manchester United players that getting to the top of the Premier League was ‘the easy bit’ and says remaining top of the division is the real ‘challenge’.
Manchester United currently sit second in the Premier League with a game in hand following a strong run of form throughout the festive period, the weekend’s goalless draw with Liverpool maintaining a 12-game unbeaten run in the league.
Solskjaer’s side travel to face Fulham this evening looking to move back above Leicester and continue their hugely impressive away record, with the Red Devils now also unbeaten away from home in more than a calendar year domestically.
That form has raised cautious optimism around a potential first title challenge since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson almost eight years ago, though the Norwegian has warned his side that sustaining a title tilt is the real challenge ahead of the second half of the season.
“We are halfway through the season and we are up there, but it is a really congested top of the table so we know every little run of form can move you away from teams or a dip of form and you drop down,” he said at his pre-match press conference.
“It’s not about getting there once — that’s the easy bit, to go up the league. Staying there is the challenge and that’s the challenge we are looking forward to — focusing on every game and building this squad. We hope that in the end, we can lift the trophy.
“I don’t think it’s a different mindset at the moment for my group of players. I don’t think where they are in the league really enters their minds. We have a laser focus on just the next game and to get momentum.
“This season, the lead has changed so many times. The only thing that matters is who is there at the end and that is not something we discuss at the moment.”