Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists Manchester United are ‘a team that is going places’ and has opened up on the club’s ‘journey’ towards to the summit of English football.
United have enjoyed a strong second half to the season – impressing since the Premier League’s restart – and need just a point from their crunch final day fixture against Leicester to secure a top-four finish and Champions League qualification.
Defeat to Chelsea in the semi-finals of the FA Cup and a lacklustre draw with West Ham have raised question marks over potential burnout for the Red Devils, who have made minimal changes to their line up in recent weeks despite the gruelling fixture schedule.
Fifth-placed Leicester will leapfrog Solskjaer’s side and secure a place amongst Europe’s elite should they emerge victorious from the clash at the King Power Stadium, but the Norwegian says his side will travel to the face the Foxes in confident mood having placed their destiny firmly in their own hands.
“I think confidence levels has to be high, because we’ve given ourselves a great chance going into last game,” Solskjaer said at his pre-match press conference. “When the last game of the season is in front of you you expect any players to have bruises, aches tiredness, even though this season has been different it’s been a draining one for everyone.
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“We’ve got enough energy for 90 minutes, there’ll be injury time as well we’ve got enough time but having been so far behind with the restart we had to go for it, go for goals, go for points and it’s been a great effort by everyone to get into this position with one game to go.”
United currently sit third in the Premier League and securing Champions League qualification will be a major boost to the club’s rebuild, and Solskjaer has urged his side to finish the campaign strongly before continuing their ‘journey’ next season.
“Let’s get this game out of the way and get the third position and continue the growth and journey this team is on,” he said.
“We’ve had some hard times this season, some setbacks, we’ve shown this is a team that is going places and if we can finish the season with a trophy in Europe and third.”
Whilst admitting he has been pleased with his side’s progress and development so far this season, Solskjaer warned United must ‘step it up even more’ next season if they are to challenge the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City for major silverware.
“We’ve not ended up anywhere yet, one more game to show we’ve become a better team and if we get a result against Leicester, this journey has been a good one but this is not the end of the journey. There are two teams too far ahead of us. We have to step it up even more.”