Manchester United coach, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer expects his team to claim the needed points that will take them to the Champions League but don’t consider failing to finish in the top four to be the end of the journey for the team.
The Red Devils sit third in the Premier League table, above Chelsea on goal difference and just one point above Leicester City at 5th position.
Leicester City host United on Sunday, a decisive match which promises to be entertaining as a draw will take Manchester United into the top four and will confirm their place in the next season’s Champions League.
If United loses against Leicester on Sunday, they also have a potential back-up route into the Champions League should they win the Europa League next month?
However, Solskjaer believes that even if they fail to get the job done on Sunday, the United manager is confident they will continue to make progress.
“It would be a good boost and a nice boost for the team to finish third,” he told Sky Sports. “I know since October, after that international break, we’ve had the third-most points in the league.“For a long, long spell now we’ve been the third-best team, we just, in the start of the season, we were too inconsistent. Now we have got more consistency, more fitness levels, we’re more robust.“And of course, we want to be in amongst the elite in Europe and play in the Champions League, but the old Winston Churchill quote is, ‘success isn’t final, failure isn’t fatal – then what you need is the courage to continue’.“That’s what we’re going to do with this team, we continue. We carry on developing the team, improving and knowing that this is not the end of the journey for the team, this is just one other stepping-stone in our development.”
Solskjaer acknowledged that the trip to Leicester will not be easy, but with the right frame of mind and their recent form, they can go there and repeat what they’ve done over the last five or six weeks.
“We have to go into the game with a positive mindset, going there to attack, going there to win the ball, going there on the front foot, defend on the front foot,” Solskjaer said.“We know Leicester are a good side and they’re going to pin us back at times and we’re going to have to defend our box as well, so stop crosses, if the crosses come into the box, get first to it. All the basics in football.“And you know you have to work really, really hard. You have to go there with a frame of mind that, ‘when I’m off the pitch today, I’ve given everything I have for the shirt’ and hopefully that will be enough for a result.“You can never control the result in a game of football, you can only control your effort in the performance.“I just want to see them do what they’ve done over the last five or six weeks, go out there with a smile, express themselves, play with no fear, play with courage, go and attack teams, go and drive at them, create chances and defend well, like we have done.”
United will be looking to bounce back to winning ways despite losing to Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final and drawing Westham United in their last Premier League match.
According to Solskjaer, his boys will be fresh and fit for Leicester on Sunday and will be going all out to win the game.