Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has reaffirmed that he remains unconcerned by the Reds’ current league position which sees them down in 15th spot.
United are set to play domestic rivals Arsenal in the Premier League later today in a game which both sides will be desperate to take all three-points from.
The Reds find themselves just above the drop after five games, however, it is worth noting they have played one, even two more games less than the other sides in England’s top-flight.
United opened the new 2020-21 campaign with a crushing 3-1 defeat to Crystal Palace which they followed up with an incredibly lucky 3-2 win over Brighton and Hove Albion thanks to an injury-time penalty.
The turn of the month saw United host Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur in a game which resulted in the Reds equalling their worst ever home defeat; a 6-1 thumping.
Solskjaer and his coaching staff clearly worked hard behind-the-scenes though because United bounced back well in their next two league matches which saw them convincingly beat Newcastle United 4-1 and draw 0-0 to a free-flowing Chelsea.
United now sit 15th on seven points but a win today could see them rocket back up into the top-half.
Speaking to The Guardian about his side’s current league form, Solskjaer said: “It’s going to be tighter and a lot more unpredictable.
“I don’t think you will see anyone running away with it, quite a few teams are going to be in with a chance. It is going to be a long season, with a lot of games, based on a very short rest after the end of last season.
“Every manager is going on about the same thing, the importance of looking after the players. I don’t want to predict how many points will be necessary to win the title this season, but you can see already that records are unlikely to be broken.
“Last season we started really poorly, we had two wins from our first nine matches,” he says. “We still finished all right, but it’s better if you can pick up more points in the first few weeks of the season.
“You are not going to win the title in your first eight or nine games, but it is important to make sure you haven’t lost it. Hopefully we can pick up another couple of results before the international break that will move us up the table.”
“It’s a completely different game without the fans,” he says. “Playing in empty stadiums takes all the passion and excitement out of the game, and when players are no longer feeding off the buzz of the crowd and doing what their instinct tells them in the heat of the moment, tactics come more into it because you can see how each side is being set up. In normal circumstances players react to the crowd, whatever their manager tells them to do. At the moment that is not happening as much.
“We have more options now than we had a year ago, we’ve added quality to the squad. I’m happy with the signings we have made, even if I can’t play them all at the same time.
“Some players walk into a team and look as if they belong straight away, others take a little more time to gel, but ultimately what you need to do is find a balance. You can’t just pick your best seven forwards, however much you might want to. You have to find a system that works and that might change from game to game.”