Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Manchester United’s pre-season will stand them in good stead as they “look to get closer to the top” this time around.
United are due to face Inter in the International Champions Cup in Singapore on Saturday without Romelu Lukaku, who the United boss claims is still not fit.
United’s schedule sees them face Inter, Tottenham, Kristiansund and AC Milan, before they kick off their league season with Chelsea at Old Trafford and Solskjaer is hoping they will be ready as they look to close the gap on champions Man City, which was a mammoth 32 points.
“The start of the season is important, I don’t think many of these players have had a pre-season like this in many years. In the first eight or 10 games you don’t win anything but you can lose the chance to win anything,” said Solskjaer at Friday’s news conference.
“I think so far we have had loads of positive and encouraging moments Games are a part of it. It is stepping stones, a harder opposition. It has been very encouraging.
“The Premier League is a very competitive league. Our aim is to focus on ourselves, we have to be better and be our only focus. I am sure we will get closer to the top.”
And while Solskjaer has kept a level head on their Premier League ambitions, he says they will look to win the Europa League, whilst trying to blood some youngsters.
“We see the Europa League as both a good chance to play youngsters, but also to win a trophy. We are going to go all out to try to win it, of course,” added Solskajer.
The Norwegian confirmed his squad will take another step with their fitness in Saturday’s International Champions Cup game with Inter and revealed he will not make 11 changes at half-time, as he did against Perth Glory and Leeds previously.
Solskajer added: “We will give players some 45, some 60, some 70. It is another stepping stone, we are not planning to swap them all on half-time.”