Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists ‘the culture IS improving’ at Man United after coasting through to Europa League last-16… with Norwegian determined to banish memories of three semi-final defeats as he targets first trophy at Old Trafford
- REPORT: Manchester United eased into the last-16 of the UEFA Europa League
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes the ‘culture is improving’ inside the dressing room
- The Norwegian has been defeated in three cup semi-finals as he eyes a trophy
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer feels his Manchester United side are ‘so close’ to winning his first trophy as manager because the ‘culture is improving’.
Solskjaer took United to three semi finals last season and emerged on the losing side in all three.
But after coasting past Real Sociedad to reach the last-16 of the Europa League, Solskjaer believes his ‘fantastic’ group are transforming into winners.
Manchester United’s winning culture is ‘improving’ in the eyes of boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
The Norwegian (left) says they have the best squad in the Europa League as he targets trophies
‘You remember the defeats more so than the wins. To get the semi-finals in any competition, you’re so close,’ he told BT Sport.
‘We’ve had three of them, we’ve lost one, so this group knows how it feels.
‘We are a group that are very tight together. You come in, your work every day, you have a few setbacks and knocks. We want to go further but when you have failed before you want to do better.
‘The culture is really improving and we’ve got some fantastic players and fantastic coaches.’
Solskjaer (middle) tasted defeat last season in the FA Cup semi finals, losing out to Chelsea
Last season Solskjaer reached the last four of the Carabao Cup, the FA Cup and the UEFA Europa League.
United came up short in each of those ties, losing both legs of their Carabao Cup semi-final to Manchester City, being defeated 3-1 by Frank Lampard’s Chelsea at Wembley in the FA Cup and losing 2-1 to Sevilla in Germany in a one-off Europa League semi-final.
Manchester United are still in the FA Cup and the Europa League and Solskjaer is now determined to end his wait for a trophy.
With Tottenham and Arsenal also awaiting their fate in Friday’s last-16 draw for the Europa League, the United boss taunted that only his side possess the necessary quality among English teams to win it all in Europe.
‘Man United can (win the Europa), not sure about the other (British) teams,’ he added.
There was further disappointment in losing out to Sevilla in the Europa League last season
‘Man Utd have the best squad in the competition. This is a great chance for United to win something.
‘They (the other British clubs) think they are in a good chance, but Man United are much better than Arsenal and Tottenham. Italian football and Spanish football are nowhere near as good as it used to be.’
Former United midfielder Paul Scholes believes Solskjaer feels pained by the lack of success in cup competitions, with Liverpool and Man City dominating the Premier League title race over the years.
Scholes told BT Sport: ‘It hurts him. Four semi-finals for him which isn’t great because you need to go to that level now.
‘You’ve seen them do well to get to second in the league, then fall away. They went top then unfortunately they went on a sticky run and fell away.
‘They have got to find that extra quality, big players in big games. If Man Utd want to go to the next level, win titles, win cups – these players need to step up.’
Paul Scholes called on United’s players to step up and deliver several trophies this term
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