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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has denied the notion that Manchester United is inconsistent and says that reaching the top four this season would be a “great achievement”.
United enters their next game, against West Ham on Saturday, after a 3-1 loss to PSG in the Champions League. After four wins in a row before that, it was a reminder that the Red Devils are still a work in progress.
They are heading into Saturday’s game four places down the Hammers in the table, although they have a game in hand. Looking up, they are five points behind the league leaders Tottenham.
A win over David Moyes’ team would see them outperform their opponents and regain some optimism that may have faded after the loss to PSG. With that in mind, Solskjaer insists that his team can be consistent and are performing well even when they lose.
Asked about his consistency at a press conference, he replied: “Does it depend on how many games you want to return?
“Soccer is a game with human beings and they live their own lives, they played some fantastic games. 40 games ago, we are one of the most consistent in the Premier League.
“You are disappointed when you lose and it is sometimes good margins that decide if you win or lose. PSG’s game was much better than West Brom, but you don’t get three points against PSG.
“We have more, less bad performances and we become more consistent. You can never control the result in the end, that is decided by margins. “
If United are to compete in the Champions League again next season, they must put together a hot streak to prove they are a top four team.
At times that seemed unlikely last season, before a strong season finale, partially inspired by the winter arrival of Bruno Fernandes, helped them climb the Champions League places.
This time around, Solskjaer still thinks that reaching that goal would be an achievement.
“Of course it would be for all kinds of reasons,” he said. “We know we have one game less and we hope to get it back at some point as well.
“And with the preseason as short as it was, getting closer to the top would be a great achievement at this point.
“We have shown great consistency away from home lately and we hope to continue that way.”
Cavani improving the squad
One player who could be crucial for United in their efforts to move up the table is Edinson Cavani. The striker arrived from PSG, where he was the top scorer of all time, in a free signing in the summer.
Cavani was fired at Everton in November and followed with a double to win the match against Southampton.
The Uruguayan is offering Solskjaer a different option from the beginning with all his experience. The coach has now explained in more detail why he brought him to the club.
“Last season we were the youngest team in the Premier League and we have been looking for ways to improve the squad, young or seasoned talents and with the signings of Bruno, Donny [van de Beek] and Alex [Telles] and Edinson has improved the balance of the squad and its positioning.
“He is a different type of center forward, he can play differently and his experience in world football. He has come and shows young people how to live his life and last his career. “
Meanwhile, Solskjaer also provided an update on Marcus Rashford’s fitness. The forward soon left the defeat to PSG due to a shoulder problem.