Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists Manchester United are one of the most consistent teams in England despite their mixed start to the Premier League.
United sat ninth in the table after nine matches going into the weekend, five points adrift of leaders Tottenham with a game in hand.
Solskjaer’s side headed away to fifth-placed West Ham in a key game on Saturday that gave them a chance to win a fourth consecutive Premier League match.
They were also seeking a ninth straight top-flight win away from home, a streak which is already their longest run in competition history.
While Wednesday’s 3-1 home Champions League defeat to Paris Saint-Germain dented morale, Solskjaer feels there is plenty to be excited about in the months ahead.
And he rejected suggestions United are inconsistent, believing the 6-1 home loss to Spurs in October is playing a key part in the perception of their start to 2020-21.
“I know the narrative is that we’re really inconsistent and I’m not one to argue too much, but if you look back from when the lockdown started or even from the end of the January transfer window, I think we’re one of the most consistent teams in the country,” Solskjaer said to Sky Sports.
“Of course, the Tottenham defeat was made into a big thing, but we were 10 men, having had no pre-season.
“For consistency, you need to look at more than just two or three games. You need to be looking at 10, 20, 30, 40.
“Liverpool and Manchester City have been exceptional over the last two years, but there are still two sides too many ahead of us, in my head anyway, because I want us to be the best.
“Saying that, we have made real strides. The lows are not so low anymore, but the highs can be really high. It shows we are on the right track.
“The spirit is good. The players sense that we can move up the table and challenge for things this year.”
What time does #WHUMUN kick off where you are?
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 5, 2020
The West Ham match is followed by a critical Champions League trip to RB Leipzig and a derby at Old Trafford against Manchester City next weekend.
With three huge games in the space of eight days, Solskjaer is not worried by the possibility of the pressure on him increasing.
“I’ve been here so long so I feel I know everything there is to know about the pressure at Manchester United,” he added.
“Of course, when you are the one making the big decisions, it falls on you.
“But that’s fine. I wouldn’t have said yes to the club when they asked me to come if I didn’t feel I was ready to make those decisions and take the consequences – either good or bad.
“You’re always looking for ways of improving and we know we still have a lot to improve on.
“But I feel we have made some decisions that have benefitted us as a team and a club. Some of the signings we have made have come in and had a great influence.
“Of course, it’s only at the end of the season that you know how well you have done. But we are moving up the table and playing better.”
West Ham have won their last two league home games against United and Saturday’s clash was only the second time this century they went into a match between the teams sitting ahead of the 20-time English champions in the table.
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