Ed Woodward has sent an uplifting message about what Manchester United can achieve in the New Year.
Man Utd head into 2021 in second place in the Premier League, just three points off leaders Liverpool and with a game in hand.
The club have responded well to their Champions League exit, putting together some strong form since then. It has led to fresh optimism about their credentials this season.
Last year, United fell short of silverware, losing in three cup semi-finals. However, they are now looking to go one step further.
As the New Year begins and the January transfer window opens, United will be keen to keep making progress.
Indeed, executive vice-chairman Woodward has promised an exciting year ahead for the club. He sent a message in his programme notes for the game against Aston Villa on New Year’s Day.
He wrote: “There is much to be excited about on the pitch as Ole and the team head into the new year competing strongly in the Premier League and with three cups still to pursue.
“The team’s positive form has lifted all our spirits in recent weeks, winning seven and drawing two of our last nine domestic games at the time of writing, and let’s hope for another entertaining game this evening to start the year on a bright note.
“While this remains a difficult winter in the short-term, we can all feel more optimistic about the medium and longer-term as vaccines arrive to fight the virus. One of the many benefits from this should be the gradual return of fans to football stadiums and we can’t wait for ours to be allowed back inside Old Trafford.
“The team has coped well in challenging circumstances while playing behind closed doors. Indeed, at the time of writing, we have won more points-per-game since Project Restart last June than any other Premier League club. We also have four more wins and nine more goals than at the same time last season.
“There are many positive statistics like these showing the progress made under Ole in the past year. But they tell only part of the story.”
Woodward believes Man Utd on track
He continued: “Just as important is the work we see being done behind the scenes to build a winning culture consistent with the club’s traditions of attacking football played by youthful, hard-working teams fusing homegrown talent with top-class recruits.
“We are getting closer to those objectives as the squad continues to develop following the arrivals of Bruno Fernandes, Donny van de Beek, Alex Telles and Edinson Cavani. Our ongoing investment reflects the tremendous resilience of the club and our commitment to supporting Ole, while remaining disciplined at an extremely challenging time.
“As always, our priority is to win trophies and, with the team going into the new year competing on four fronts, we are optimistic about the path ahead in 2021.”
United will be hoping to start the New Year on the frontfoot. The Villa game will be an intriguing challenge, before their attention will turn to cup competitions.
Their next game sees them face Manchester City in the Carabao Cup semi-final. They will be looking to avoid a repeat of last season’s fate in that game.
An FA Cup third round game against Watford is also on the horizon. Later in the month, they have five Premier League games – four of which will be away.
The standout fixture will be against rivals Liverpool on January 17th. That should give a clearer indication of whether they can fight for the title.