Solskjær says United’s unbeaten run is ‘nowhere near’ enough

Manager praised Bruno Fernandes and denied being interested in signing Nathan Aké

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer fist bumps Bruno Fernandes. Photo: Peter Powell/Getty Images

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer fist bumps Bruno Fernandes. Photo: Peter Powell/Getty Images

 

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has insisted Manchester United’s 16-game unbeaten run is “nowhere near” what the team’s ambition should be.

The sequence is the best under the manager and the longest since an 18-match sequence in 2013. Yet Solskjær, whose side visit Aston Villa on Thursday, is not satisfied.

“The last 16 games unbeaten gives us confidence but nowhere near what a Man United team should strive towards,” the manager said. “We can still go many games unbeaten if we concentrate on the right things, if we focus on the next one, the next one, the next one. [That’s how we got] there with 16. Hopefully that can continue.”

The run has elevated the players’ mentality. “As a footballer you know you can’t just pick out your confidence from the fridge,” he said. “You have to take it from what you do every day in training, but the results they [really] matter.”

Solskjær pointed to the mutually beneficial relationship between Bruno Fernandes and the rest of United’s squad that has been developing since the Portuguese signed in January.

“It’s gone both ways. I think Bruno has come into the club and seen how many good players there are at Man United. We’ve helped him show his attributes as well. It’s just been a good little relationship blossoming that he can also feel that we’re going to help him improve. Definitely Bruno has come in and lifted everyone else as well and it’s been a very good start”

Solskjær denied any interest in Bournemouth’s Nathan Aké. This followed speculation, after he was filmed speaking to the left-sided defender following United’s 5-2 win on Saturday, that he informed the 25-year-old he wanted a centre-back with Aké’s attributes.

“I have got seven centre-backs so I don’t know where that came from,” Solskjær said. “We’re fine.” Of the seven, though, three appear surplus to requirements – Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo – while Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe have struggled with injury. – Guardian

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