Following their 4-0 humbling by Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday, Manchester United find themselves 24 points off top spot in the Premier League, sitting in sixth position.
To rub salt into the wounds, United not only see themselves at the back of the leading pack, but are also witnessing their two rivals – Manchester City and Liverpool – lead the way.
Fans were hoping that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could rekindle the good times experienced under Sir Alex Ferguson, and the Red Devils boss accepts that it is difficult to see United struggle whilst their rivals flourish.
Quoted by Goal.com, Solskjaer told reporters: “It’s not about taking something away from others. We have to want to overtake them, and not just because it’s City and Liverpool.” He continued: “For a supporter, as I am, and as a manager now as well, we know [them well] because they are so close in the vicinity.
“We want to be the best, we have been the best and it’s not nice seeing those two at the top.”
The Norwegian’s arrival sparked a run of seven wins in eight games for the Manchester club. However, with just two wins from the previous eight in all competitions, Solskjaer has insisted patience is key to achieving success, as he said: “You cannot expect things to happen overnight and we know that.
“It will happen gradually and we have to be realistic enough as a club that we have to take it step by step.”
Despite the dip in form, United still have the third best record in the Premier League since the former Cardiff City manager’s arrival. Solskjaer pinpoints their ability to perform consistently as the step which can bridge the gap between themselves and the top two.
He continued: “Over the last 18 games, we’re not far away from them but it’s doing it over the course of a season. We’ve done it for half a season now. Let’s see. You can never say never.”
Although Solskjaer has overseen United’s recent loss of form, it has been the playing staff who have come in for most criticism. Fans and management alike will be looking for a response from their team on Wednesday night as they take on Manchester City and look to climb back into top four contention.