OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER is convinced Manchester United are in position to mount a treble assault this season.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is confident Man Utd can turn their season aroundCredit: Getty Images
But United’s executive vice-chairman will not be shaken from the belief the good times are about to return.
Solskjaer has muddled through a difficult first full campaign in charge at Old Trafford with poor form and injuries to key players wreaking havoc with his plans.
But the Norwegian, 46, believes things are coming together at just the right time to herald a barnstorming finish to the season.
Solskjaer is relishing getting key players back to fitness to join new signings Bruno Fernandes and Odion Ighalo.
United are still battling it out for a top-four finish in the Premier League and the Champions League qualification that brings, while they will fancy their chances of beating Championship Derby to seal an FA Cup quarter-final spot.
And there is still the small matter of the Europa League — in which they are one of the favourites — where they have been drawn against Club Brugge in the last 32.
Solskjaer said: “During every season, every team has injuries. We have been hit badly this year and have felt the lack of numbers.
“But when everyone is back, the competition for every place is big and hopefully we will have two games every week.
“We want to go through in the Europa League, we want to go through in the FA Cup and of course the league is important, so we need players to rotate with.”
Record-buy Paul Pogba is still two or three weeks away from a return following ankle surgery while Marcus Rashford’s stress fracture to his spine is likely to sideline him for another month or so.
But midfielder Scott McTominay has been a welcome sight pushing himself during United’s warm- weather training camp in Marbella, along with defenders Axel Tuanzebe and Timothy Fosu-Mensah.
All three are now just days away from linking up with the rest of the squad for full training. Solskjaer added: “I hope we’ll see some of them before the end of this week.
“But next week will be a big one for them as well to get them match fit, so hopefully we can get them back on the pitch soon.”
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One player who has already shone in training is Fernandes, 25, a playmaker United are convinced can help bridge the gap that has opened up between themselves and the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool.
It may need a little time for the Portuguese star to adjust to the demands of the English game following his £46.6million move from Sporting but for his manager the signs are already good.
Solskjaer said: “He is a very, very good footballer and his brain is obviously quicker than many others.
“He has got loads of attributes that we are going to get used to. We will get used to him and he will get used to us.
“His passing range, his deliveries, his movements, I am just pleased to see him here enjoying himself.
“He trains and he trains and he trains, so his fitness levels and enthusiasm are brilliant.”
United cannot afford any more slip-ups in the league, though, having now gone a month without winning a game.
Chelsea in fourth spot have appeared vulnerable for the last six weeks but United, like Tottenham and Wolves, have failed to capitalise on their poor results.
Only Sheffield United have produced form of any real consistency since Christmas.
And United know they have to make their move on Monday when they travel to Stamford Bridge to take on Frank Lampard’s stuttering side.
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