Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has denied his Manchester United side were like rabbits in the headlights after topping the Premier League table in January.
Paul Pogba’s strike at Burnley put United at the top of the pile for the first time since the final day of the 2012-13 title-winning campaign under Sir Alex Ferguson.
However, their time at the top did not last long and just three wins since then has seen them slip off the pace.
At the same time Man City have exploded into form with a 20-match winning run in all competitions and they now sit 12 points clear at the summit.
Asked whether the pressure of being title contenders had affected their form, Solskjaer said: “The pressure has not been there at all, that’s the Premier League.
“We enjoy being as close to the top as possible, but that’s the quality of the opposition, the tactics and the standards the season demands.
“It’s the strangest year of all for everyone.”
Solskjaer and left-back Luke Shaw avoided Football Association sanction for comments made about referee Stuart Attwell after seeing a penalty not given in Sunday’s goalless draw at Chelsea.
“That’s water under the bridge,” the United boss said. “You move on to the next one.
“We all know it’s a high-pressure situation and we just have to accept decisions when they’re made and we move on.
“All my focus after the game has just been on Palace. I’ve not looked back at all on that.”
Cavani to return
Edinson Cavani is in line to return for Manchester United against Crystal Palace on Wednesday.
The 34-year-old striker has missed four matches in all competitions with a muscle injury.
Crystal Palace v Man Utd Match Preview, March 03, 2021
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Solskjaer said: “We’ve had a training session this morning. Of course it was a light one.
“We’re looking OK. There’s a couple of doubts for tomorrow that we have to give as much time as possible.
“Edinson trained, he joined in so that’s good. Let’s hope there’s no reaction after the session. Hopefully he will travel with the squad.”
Paul Pogba will not be available for United again having been ruled out since sustaining a thigh complaint against Everton on February 6.
“Paul is still not ready for us, no,” Solskjaer said.
“He’s feeling better. He’s not been training with the team yet so he’s definitely not travelling down to London.”
Phil Jones has not played this season due to a knee injury, having last played for United in the FA Cup fourth-round win at Tranmere in January 2020.
Asked if the England defender could feature this season, Solskjaer said: “With Phil, obviously we hope so but he’s working really hard.
“He’s had a couple of setbacks and it’s just that kind of injury that you have to be patient and give him time. I know all about knee injuries.
“I’m not sure (when he will be back). How long is a piece of rope? That’s how I felt as well when I came back.
“So (we’ll) give him absolutely every chance to get back this season. If not, hopefully for the start of next.”