Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has explained why he thinks trophies are an ‘ego thing’ for managers and says improving league position is the true sign of progress.
Manchester United have shown signs of improvement this season and currently sit second in the Premier League, whilst the Red Devils remain in contention for both the FA Cup and Europa League.
United have not won a major trophy since the 2016/17 season and are yet to win silverware during Solskjaer’s reign, ahead of what shapes as a defining week with fixtures to come against AC Milan tomorrow and an FA Cup quarter-final with Leicester.
Solskjaer has discussed his tenure so far and admits the club were in need of a ‘big rebuild’ upon his arrival, before outlining his belief that greater consistency in the Premier League is a truer sign of progress than winning cup competitions.
“I have been here for two and a half of those years,” Solskjaer said at his pre-match press conference.
“I felt a big rebuild was needed. It is in the league position where you see if there is progress. That is the bread and butter of the season.
“Trophies can be an ego thing for managers and clubs. If we perform well enough the trophies will come. But trophies don’t say we are back. It is the gradual progression. Cup competitions can hide the fact you are struggling a little bit.
“Every manager wants to win every game and fight on every front. Sometimes you might sacrifice a league position to get a cup run. You will end with trophies if you are consistent enough.”
United travel to the San Siro tomorrow with the tie finely poised at 1-1, Simon Kjaer’s late goal having rescued a stoppage-time point for Milan in the first meeting between the sides.
Solskjaer’s options could be boosted by the return of several senior stars, with Paul Pogba, Edinson Cavani and Donny van de Beek having all returned to training this week following injury lay-offs, whilst David de Gea has also returned following a spell in Spain for personal reasons.