Manchester United must not waste incredible early form under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, says Chris Smalling
Manchester United defender Chris Smalling is determined to make sure the club’s incredible form under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer doesn’t go to waste.
Jose Mourinho suggested it would take a ‘miracle’ for the club to qualify for next season’s Champions League, but Solskjaer has moved them to within two points of fourth-place Arsenal.
Eleven wins from 15 games in the league, alongside that sensational Champions League triumph over Paris Saint-Germain, have seen the Norwegian given the job on a permanent basis – but now the honeymoon is over.
The Red Devils’ top-four hopes were handed a huge blow by Wolves on Tuesday, and questions have been raised about the timing of Solskjaer’s appointment following United’s momentary dip in form.
Suddenly, finishing outside the top four would feel like failure, but Smalling is keen to highlight the size of the task that was facing them when Solskjaer took charge.
“Before Ole took over, it [finishing in the top four] was something we wanted, but it was so far off,” he told talkSPORT.
“The fact that we’ve worked so hard over these months and to be within touching distance – now is where the real hard work starts and where the real pressure is.
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“Ultimately those first few months, we were so far off that we had nothing to lose. Whereas now, we’ve really climbed that table and closed that points gap, so we just need to carry it on and make sure that these last few months weren’t wasted.
“Not just this season, in previous seasons, we go through different blips and certain people can write off Man United.
“But we’ve shown that togetherness and that fighting spirit, especially since Ole’s come in. I think we’re ready to go for the last few weeks of the season to make sure this second-half of the season was a success and it’s not just a good middle.”
And the 29-year-old, who has established himself as the first-choice centre-back under Solskjaer, has absolutely no doubts about his new manager’s appointment.
“If you look at our results since he came in, we’d probably be at the top of the table. He’s quite rightly got that job and a lot of us wanted him to get the job,” Smalling added.
“Now it’s just a case of working together and building on what he’s done already.”
Source: SportsLatest TS