Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he felt a positive change in mentality within his Manchester United squad ahead of the top-flight Aston Villa visit on Friday.
United will enter the Premier League second in 2021 following their 1-0 win over Wolves on Tuesday and will go on a six-game unbeaten streak.
Solskjaer’s side have emerged as challengers to table tops and defending champions Liverpool, and the manager is awarding a combination of new signings and experienced ‘winners’ to instill a more resilient attitude in United’s dressing room.
When asked if he had witnessed a change in mentality, Solskjaer replied, “Yes, definitely. First, they are two years older than when I arrived. Two, the strong personalities that we have. brought in, they really had a good influence.
“I think we have competition for places which means you can’t go around and think you can go wrong your way being on this team. You just deserve to be on a team that you are contributing.
“I think everyone just realized that we have the privilege of being a part of Man United – such a fantastic club and a fantastic history. When you are here, enjoy it as much as you can and maybe you will have fantastic moments.
“And you have winners like Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic, who don’t play every game, but they are so influential in the preparation of games, and even during games when they are not playing.”
Solskjaer: Rotation will help United
Solskjaer believes one of the reasons for United’s strong position in the league is their strength in depth – so much so that he doesn’t think he will settle into a top-choice starting XI this season.
United have not named the same roster in consecutive games of this campaign, with clubs having suffered a more grueling schedule than usual after the coronavirus pandemic reduced the 2020-2021 schedule.
But Solskjaer thinks his team are capable of handling anything thrown at them, saying: “We have a strong squad. We’ve been touring a lot. We haven’t really found an XI settled, which I don’t think this is. season … is going to be anyway.
“It will concern the team, the 24, 25, 26 players and I think towards the end of the season that will help us.
“It has to be done that way. There will be injuries and suspensions. I think our team is well capable of being ready for every game.”
United played nine games in December and will face seven more in January, and when asked if he is forced to watch multiple games in the future when selecting his squads, Solskjaer said: some teams.
“Of course you plan ahead. I remember the times when you feel you deserve to play and get left out. It’s part of being at Man United – we have the best players everywhere. .
“The players will have to be mad at me until the next time they play because, believe me, they’re not happy when I tell them they’re starting on the bench.”