Ole Gunnar Solskjaer explains Man Utd mentality change amid Liverpool title race

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reckons being a Manchester United star feels like a privilege once again.

United have been in the doldrums in recent seasons, having failed to win silverware since 2017 or challenge for the title since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.

But the fallen giants are showing genuine signs of progress under Solskjaer to suggest they could become a major force in English football again.

United are unbeaten in nine league games to climb to second in the table – and can join bitter rivals Liverpool at the top if they win their game in hand against Aston Villa at Old Trafford tomorrow.

Solskjaer has also led United into the semi finals of the EFL Cup and seen off the threat of Mauricio Pochettino taking his job, after the Argentine got tired of waiting to replace him and agreed to take charge of Paris Saint Germain.

Solskjaer reckons there has been a change in mentality in his squad and that some of his players now realise they could be closing in on achieving something special in the near future.

He said: "Yes, definitely. They're two years older than when I came and also, some of them are really strong personalities that we've brought in and they have been a really good influence.

"We have competition for places which means you cannot go around and think you can just make your way being part of this team. You only deserve to be in a team that you contribute to.

"I think everyone has realised they are privileged to be part of Manchester United, such a fantastic club with a fantastic history.

When you're here enjoy it as much as you can – and maybe you'll experience some fantastic times."

Solskjaer has been rotating his squad during the hectic festive period and will do so again when in-form Villa come to town.

The Norwegian, who once scored four times for United against Everton then found himself dropped the following week, admits he wants his stars to hate him if he leaves them out.

He added: "We have a strong squad and have rotated a lot. We've not really called it a settled XI because I don't think this season is going to be about that anyway. It’s going to be about the squad. It's going to be about the 25 players.

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"I think towards the end of the season that will help us. It has to be done this way, so I think our squad is well capable of being ready for every game.

"I remember those four goals and I remember also the times that you feel you deserve to play but you're left out.

"That's part of being at Manchester United. You've got top players everywhere and we know that throughout the season, if you're going to win something everyone has to contribute.

"That's just the way it's going to be. Players will have to be angry with me until the next time they play because, believe you me, they're not happy when I tell them they're starting on the bench."

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