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Solskjaer: Man United's clean sweep of pre-season wins means nothing

‘We need to improve and we need to be better,’ the Norwegian boss said.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (file pic).
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (file pic).

OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER insisted Manchester United’s pre-season results meant nothing as they look ahead to their Premier League opener.

United have won all five of their friendlies this summer, posting victories against Perth Glory, Leeds, Inter, Tottenham and Kristiansund.

But Solskjaer, ahead of a clash with AC Milan in the International Champions Cup on Saturday, said the results were irrelevant ahead of his side’s first game of the 2019-20 campaign against Chelsea at Old Trafford on August 11.

“We’ve been very pleased with it. It’s been nice seeing the boys come back to pre-season in good shape,” he told talkSPORT on Thursday.

But then again, no points have been handed out, and it doesn’t really matter when Chelsea come to Old Trafford on 11 August.

Solskjaer added: “We need to improve and we need to be better. The more we improve and the more we get better, the bigger the chance we can challenge for trophies at the end of the season.

These boys have shown their capabilities. If we just stay level-headed, I can see us improving a lot.

Solskjaer helped the Premier League giants briefly turn their form around last term after replacing Jose Mourinho at the helm in December.

The Red Devils won 15 of his first 17 matches in charge across all competitions, restoring the feel-good factor around Old Trafford for a brief period.

However, United won just two of their final nine league games of the season, finishing sixth in the table and failing to qualify for the Champions League.

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Solskjaer, confirmed as permanent manager on a three-year deal in March, feels the difficult campaign eventually took its toll on his players.

“Football is an emotional game. It’s always difficult when a new manager has to come in and the previous one loses his job, but the players handled it well over the summer and they’ve come back really fit and sharp,” he said.

I know how fine the margins are in football and how easily things can go from good to bad. It’s a mental game, it’s all in the head.

“We didn’t handle the ups and the downs well enough, we know that. That would be down to mental tiredness because it was a draining season for everyone, but we’ll be better this year.”

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