United must establish themselves in top four, says Solskjaer


MANCHESTER: Manchester United have improved this season and must consolidate their position in the Premier League top four, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said on Monday.

United are second in the table, with 33 points from 16 games, below champions Liverpool on goal difference but with a game in hand.

Solskjaer’s side were fifth in the standings at this stage last season with 24 points – 22 adrift of leaders Liverpool.

“We’re better off this season than we were at this stage last season,” Solskjaer said before Tuesday’s game at Burnley. “We’ve played better football, won more games. We’re improving.

“It is important to establish ourselves in the top four. We have only done that three times since Sir Alex (Ferguson) left. We finished third once, but now so many teams challenge and look at themselves as candidates.”

Solskjaer said his team will face a tricky test at Turf Moor against Sean Dyche’s side, who are 16th with 16 points for 15 games – five points above the relegation zone.

“Burnley had some good results after a difficult start,” Solskjaer said. “It’s hard to score against them, they don’t concede many chances.”

United have Edinson Cavani available after the Uruguayan’s three-match ban for posting a message to a friend which the FA decided was a racist term, while a late fitness call will be made on midfielder Paul Pogba and defender Eric Bailly.

“He (Cavani) is a different type of striker or forward than Mason (Greenwood), Anthony (Martial) and Marcus (Rashford), so I’m glad to have him back,” Solskjaer said.

“I’m sure he’ll be really important for us now until the end of the season.” – Reuters

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