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Man United getting closer to targets with Solskjaer in charge – Woodward

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 31 Dec 2020

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Manchester United are getting closer to achieving their objectives with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in charge, according to executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.

The Red Devils will end a rollercoaster 2020 sitting second in the Premier League, three points behind leaders Liverpool with a game in hand, thanks to a nine-game unbeaten streak in the top flight.

United exited the Champions League in the group phase in early December, but they have the Europa League to fall back on and face Manchester City in the EFL Cup semi-finals next week, before beginning their FA Cup campaign.

In the Premier League, United have accrued 51 points in their 24 matches since football resumed in June – one point more than Man City and champions Liverpool, the latter having played a game more.

Solskjaer’s side have nine points more than they had at this stage last season, meanwhile, when they were down in sixth place, and Woodward is delighted with the progress being made.

“There is much to be excited about on the pitch as Ole and the team head into the new year competing strongly in the Premier League and with three cups still to pursue,” he told United’s official matchday programme.

Woodward says United’s performances have “lifted all our spirits” as he looked ahead to the New Year’s Day clash with Aston Villa.

He pointed to the improvements in terms of results and goals scored, and said: “There are many positive statistics like these showing the progress made under Ole in the past year. But they tell only part of the story.

“Just as important is the work we see being done behind the scenes to build a winning culture consistent with the club’s traditions of attacking football played by youthful, hard-working teams fusing homegrown talent with top-class recruits.

“We are getting closer to those objectives as the squad continues to develop following the arrivals of Bruno Fernandes, Donny van de Beek, Alex Telles and Edinson Cavani.

“Our ongoing investment reflects the tremendous resilience of the club and our commitment to supporting Ole, while remaining disciplined at an extremely challenging time.

“As always, our priority is to win trophies and, with the team going into the new year competing on four fronts, we are optimistic about the path ahead in 2021.”

The Premier League announced a record 18 positive coronavirus tests among players and staff this week but denied talks have taken place over a possible temporary halt to the season.

United have been unable to open Old Trafford to supporters since March’s Manchester derby win over City, though Woodward is hopeful fans will soon be welcomed back, in light of new vaccination programmes.

He said: “One of the many benefits from this should be the gradual return of fans to football stadiums and we can’t wait for ours to be allowed back inside Old Trafford.”

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