Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says “anything can happen” in the Premier League title race this season and has refused to rule Manchester United out of the running.
United ended up 33 points behind Liverpool last season despite finishing the delayed season strongly.
However, their start to the current season was slow and Solskjaer says he knew things would be tough after a very limited pre-season due to United’s Europa League run.
But after a morale-boosting week at Old Trafford with wins over PSG and RB Leipzig Solskjaer is relishing the remainder of the season.
The Norwegian coach says he is “excited” at the prospect of the title race and is hopeful United will be one of the club’s who can rival Liverpool and Manchester City this time around.
“I think football has developed and so many clubs have developed strength in depth and the ability to challenge for the trophies, even though last two seasons you had two teams running away with it,” said Solskjaer.
“I think this season a lot of us just underneath them would hope to put up a challenge, back then it was us or Arsenal, and then Chelsea came through.
“Now it’s more exciting for me and the fans that it’s not one of these two. Anything can happen this season with what’s happening around the world and we’re just taking one game at a time.”
Asked about United’s development, Solskjaer was reluctant to comment on who far his squad have come.
“Well, we keep on working, want to develop, we want to improve, it’s not up to me to say how far we’ve come,” said Solskajer. “But I’ve been very pleased with the response after what we did early on in the season.
“We knew we had to hang in early on and try to get points on the board because we were far behind but now we feel fit and strong and competitive in every game.”
After a run of poor early season results, Solskjaer admitted the recent hammering by Spurs jolted United into action.
“I think any result as brutal as a 6-1 would have to get a response and, of course, it has been dealt with internally,” said Solskajer.
“We’ve tweaked a couple of things, got players fit and I think the manner of the defeat wasn’t something we should ever have to be confronted with again.
“Then again things happen in football these days and the response has been fantastic, and that’s what I’m concerned about, because we wanted to finish that off as soon as we could and move forward.”
After a number of summer additions including Alex Telles, Donny van de Beek and Edinson Cavani, the United boss admitted he was happy with his options.
“At the moment, we are looking like a Manchester United squad,” added Solskjaer.
“I’ve got opportunities, competition for places, and any successful team in the modern era of football have had the option to rest players, to rotate. And that is probably the only way you can last in the most intense league in the world, and also with the Champions League involved, you want to go for the trophies.”