Manchester derby – pre-match-briefing- Solskjaer

Having picked up just 2 points from their last two league games, Manchester United travel to Etihad stadium to play against table toppers Manchester City on Sunday. Pep Guardiola’s men are on a 21-game unbeaten run in all competitions, conceding just 13 goals in the process.

Manchester United have failed to score in their last three games across all competitions, and looked out of ideas in their goalless draw against Crystal Palace on Wednesday. Speaking ahead of the Manchester derby, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted Man City are well ahead of United from a performance and consistency perspective.

The Manchester United manager added “Our focus is just on this one game and not where we’re going to end up. We just have to be the best possible Man United and try to improve on last season.”

That means moving up the table, getting more points, hopefully challenge, get to a final and win a trophy. What other teams do, we can’t control. They are ahead of us by a fair distance and Sunday is a chance to test ourselves against a very good team.

They’re the only team ahead of us. We will try and claw back points and get closer to them. They have had a fantastic spell – 21 wins, we’ve had 21 away games unbeaten. One record is going to be broken, so let’s see which one it is.”

There are still 11 games to go in the Premier League. I have always said let’s get to March April before we talk about title race after 18 or 19 games.”

We’ve given ourselves a very good chance to improve. We would rather be in this position now than last season. There are loads of quality teams in the Premier League. We know what we can control is ourselves. If we do our jobs and get as many points as we can do, we’ll be up there.

You’d like to win every game of football, but if you compare to last season, we’re quite a bit higher up in the league, still in Europe and the FA Cup.”

It’s the league position you think that’s where we’ve shown progress. Hopefully we can prove we’ve taken another further step. We have more experience to be in this position than last season.”

On record against top 6

Solskjaer has been criticised for United’s results against the top six teams this season, which included a 6-1 thrashing against Tottenham, and a 1-0 defeat to Arsenal. However, the Norwegian insisted they have improved when compared to last season, and said “We’ve looked at it. In a strange sort of way, you might not agree, we’ve been more positive.”

We’ve been going high press on the front foot, trying to pin teams back. Last year maybe we relied more on the counter-attack, dropped deep and hung on, which as a coach or manager is the worst feeling ever.”

So we have tried to go more positive. We have not been clinical or ruthless enough with the chances we’ve had. They have been tight games and it’s another test for us now, it’s another opportunity to put that right.

Source: Daily Mail

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