Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has insisted Manchester United are not focused on the Premier League table right now as his side prepare to face Burnley with the chance to go top at Turf Moor on Tuesday evening.

United can replace Liverpool at the summit with either a draw or a win, but the manager says his players are thinking long term.

Solskjaer’s men have the chance to go top of the Premier League for the first time since 2017


Solskjaer’s men have the chance to go top of the Premier League for the first time since 2017

The 20-time champions have failed to launch a sustained title bid since Sir Alex Ferguson brought the curtain down on his medal-laden career as a Premier League winner in 2012/13.

But an impressive ten-match unbeaten run has them level on 33 points with the Reds, who they can usurp on Tuesday night to set-up a mouth-watering meeting at Anfield on Sunday.

United have not been top of the table at this stage since Ferguson’s final campaign but Solskjaer has repeatedly downplayed the importance of that potential feat ahead of Tuesday’s trip to Turf Moor.

“We need to get points against Burnley before anyone can say you’re top of the table but that’s a position that we have put ourselves in,” the 1999 treble hero said.

United are finally considered serious title contenders


United are finally considered serious title contenders

“So I would like to think that we go into this game not thinking about where we’ll end up tomorrow night in the table but where we can end up in the table in May. That’s what matters.

“You accumulate the points throughout the season so if at one point you think ‘ah, we’ve made it now, we’ve cracked it and you relax’ that’s when it’s going to hit you back.

“So we’re very focused, we’ve got some good characters in the team. The dressing room is louder, it’s more vocal.

“Of course we’ve got the experience of Nemanja Matic, who’s won it a few times, Juan Mata, David (De Gea) Edinson (Cavani).

“Bruno (Fernandes) coming in, I think he wants to feel part of a team that’s going to be challenging for trophies so we have more players that grab the situation.”

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Solskjaer’s side remain behind Manchester City and Liverpool in the bookmakers’ odds to become this season’s Premier League champions.

But that will not irk the Norwegian as his evolving team continues to make progress, thanks in no small part to an improved mentality within the group.

“I’ve been lucky enough to have played in a team with loads of characters, that we look after ourselves, inner justice,” Solskjaer said.

“Because you don’t just let yourself down, you let your team down and I think you need leaders there to really grab hold of the ones who stray out of line and within what we agreed as a group.

“Because when you are part of a football team, there’s nothing stronger than being part of a team that keeps together.

“I’ve also seen teams that have cliques, that they don’t work together – that’s the killer of a team. So, that’s a big, big thing, that the group push themselves.

Bruno Fernandes has proved to be an inspired signing for Man United


Bruno Fernandes has proved to be an inspired signing for Man United

“I’ve been lucky enough both in Molde and here now to have a feeling that I can trust them more and more to look after themselves.”

Solskjaer is open to Man United signing another influential mid-season player, but admits it’s unlikely.

Bruno Fernandes’ arrival from Portugal last January has proven to be a masterstroke and the manager is happy with what he has at his disposal.

“The situation is different now from a year ago, so it’s unlikely something is going to happen,” Solskjaer said.

“But you’re right: Bruno came in and has had a great impact, made us a better team and he’s become a better player as well. If there was something out there that was nailed on I wouldn’t say no but it’s likely nothing is going to happen.”


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