Ole Gunnar Solskjaer vowed that Manchester United want to go one step further than last year in the Europa League this season.
A 4-0 aggregate win over Real Sociedad has confirmed United’s place in the Round of 16, despite a goalless second leg.
United reached the semi-finals of the competition last season, but as has become the trend under Solskjaer, missed their chance to reach the final.
Their ambitions are high again this season, and as they wait to find out their opponent for the Last 16, Solskjaer made that clear.
He told BT Sport: “You remember the defeats more so than the wins.
“To get the semi-finals in any competition, you’re so close. We’ve had three of them, we’ve lost one, so this group knows how it feels, and of course they want to go further.”
Solskjaer believes their squad harmony could be the crucial ingredient to help United take that next step.
He said of their atmosphere: “We are a group that are very tight together. You come in, you work every day, you have a few setbacks and knocks.
“We want to go further but when you have failed before you want to do better. The culture is really improving and we’ve got some fantastic players and fantastic coaches.”
Before they can think about the latter stages of the Europa League, United have a busy section of the season to navigate.
Solskjaer insists they are going into a tough stretch with confidence, and knows the spell could help shape their season.
“Now until the international break, I think we have six or seven games. We have Chelsea, Leicester and West Ham, all important games.
“So these three weeks now are going to be massive for us. But confidence is good and hopefully we will get a few players back in.”
Solskjaer gives Shoretire platform
The second leg against La Real gave Solskjaer the chance to send Shola Shoretire on for his Old Trafford debut.
The 17-year-old academy graduate became United’s youngest ever player in a European game as a result.
Solskjaer said of Shoretire: “Shola has got some skills, he’s going to make a very good player here.
“It’s a platform tonight, just 15 minutes but it’s something to remember for him at Old Trafford.
“Maybe he would’ve enjoyed it more with fans because they give you so much energy. But I’m sure all the fans will see him soon.”