Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Manchester United are “desperate” to win trophies this season ahead of Wednesday’s Carabao Cup quarter-final against Everton.
United have won just three major honours since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013 – the FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League under former managers Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho.
The last of those triumphs was in 2017 and although current boss Solskjaer guided United to the semi-finals of the FA Cup, Carabao Cup and Europa League last season – as well as a third-place finish in the Premier League – the club’s wait for silverware continues.
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- Nev: Bizarre where Man Utd are in table
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United travel to Goodison Park to face Everton on Wednesday night in the last eight of the Carabao Cup, live on Sky Sports, and Solskjaer stressed the importance of winning his first trophy as United manager.
“Of course it’s something we’re aiming for,” he said. “We want to improve every season and to improve on last year is to get to the final. Of course, when you get to a final, there’s only one thing that matters and that’s lifting the trophy.
“I remember winning my first trophy and towards the end of my career, I think Patrice Evra and Nemanja Vidic’s first trophy was the League Cup in 2006. It does give something to a team.
“We are desperate to get our hands on a trophy. These players are desperate to learn how to win.”
‘Lingard to return for Everton trip’
Solskjaer also confirmed Jesse Lingard will be included in United’s squad for the trip to Goodison Park.
The 28-year-old has not played since September 30 against Brighton in the Carabao Cup and not featured in the Premier League all season.
“Jesse will be in the squad. He has been working hard in training,” Solskjaer said.
“He has been unfortunate in having to isolate a few times having been in close contact with Covid, so he’s been very unlucky.
“He has been working really hard and he’ll definitely be involved in the squad on Wednesday.”
Keane: Man Utd can challenge Liverpool for title
Roy Keane believes Manchester United can push Liverpool for the Premier League title and could be the reigning champions’ closest challengers.
The former Man Utd captain has been a fierce critic this season of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team.
But after watching Man Utd dismantle Leeds United 6-2 on Sunday, Keane has acknowledged his opinion has shifted.
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“I think over the last few months they’ve been heavily criticised, particularly over the home record. I’ve been quite critical of the back four, the goalkeeper, questioning where this team is going, but the name of this game is proving people wrong,” Keane told Sky Sports. “Maybe, just maybe, this group of players can do that.”
The thumping victory over Leeds has propelled Man United to third in the league table, five points behind Liverpool but with a game in hand.
“They’ve been winning games, and that’s all you can do. United are in a great position considering how slow they were out of the blocks. If United can get their house in order at home, there’s no reason why United can’t stay up there.”
Nev: Bizarre where Man Utd are in table
Man Utd would have “snapped everybody’s hand off” to have the chance to move two points off the top but “have not played” like title challengers, says Gary Neville.
United moved up to third – the first time they have occupied a Champions League-qualifying spot all season – with a 6-2 thrashing of Leeds at Old Trafford on Super Sunday, with a game in hand over second-placed Leicester and leaders Liverpool which could lift them within two points of the top of the table should they win.
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“For Manchester United it was about closing the gap, no one ever thought they would be in a position to go so close,” he said on the Gary Neville Podcast. “They’re going to go second in the league if they can close that gap. It doesn’t feel like Manchester United have played like that.
“There has been talk of the manager’s job, going out of Europe was a big problem, the performances at times have been horrible.
“You just watch them and think there isn’t a team emerging there who can challenge for the title. My gut feeling is to still say I don’t think Manchester United are going to win the league.
“But I am surprised, it’s bizarre where they are considering a couple of weeks ago you were thinking this could be difficult, a challenging period coming into Christmas, but it’s looking a little bit rosier.”
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