LONDON (AFP) – Manchester United coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said breaking into the Premier League’s top four would be a boost for his “bruised” side as they prepare to travel to West Ham on Saturday.
United, whose 3-1 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain this week left their Champions League hopes in the balance, are looking to extend their club record of eight successive away wins in the league.
Victory over an in-form West Ham side managed by former United boss David Moyes could lift Solskjaer’s team into the top four, at least temporarily, after a shaky start to the season.
United, who have won their past three league matches, are currently ninth in the table, two points behind fourth-placed Leicester, and have a game in hand over most of their rivals.
“Of course we’re a bit bruised and disappointed after Wednesday night but hopefully we’ll be ready to go again tomorrow,” Solskjaer said on Friday (Dec 4).
“With the pre-season being as short as it was, to be able to move closer to the top would be a great achievement at this point but it’s a long season.
“We’ve shown some great consistency away from home lately, great results, and hopefully we can continue that.”
Solskjaer is waiting to see if Marcus Rashford will be passed fit after the forward was substituted with a shoulder injury on Wednesday.
“Marcus has been training this morning, not fully but he’s joined in with the group,” said the 47-year-old.
“He’s been getting treatment and hopefully he’ll be part of the squad that travels.”
Solskjaer said he was looking forward to hearing the chants of fans for the first time since March, when coronavirus forced the shutdown of the English top-flight for three months.
Only 2,000 West Ham fans will be allowed into the London Stadium due to Covid-19 restrictions while United themselves cannot host fans yet as Manchester is under tougher restrictions.
“Of course we won’t have our fans there but we’ll just have to use the energy or thrive off the home fans and make them quiet hopefully – that we can make them edgy,” said Solskjaer. “We’re looking forward to it.”