Solskjaer: Winning breeds team spirit

With a Premier League record in his sights, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has explained how he fosters team spirit at Manchester United.

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer   -  Getty Images

Manchester United caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says the side's winning run has built team spirit at Old Trafford.

United has won eight games in a row in all competitions since Solskjaer was installed as the temporary replacement for Jose Mourinho last month.

An FA Cup win at Arsenal on Friday was the latest victory to bolster Solskjaer's claims for the job on a permanent basis, with United also back in the hunt for Champions League qualification.

Beating Burnley at home on Tuesday would make Solskjaer the first manager ever to win his first seven Premier League games in charge of a club, surpassing Carlo Ancelotti and Pep Guardiola's record of six at Chelsea and Manchester City respectively.

And while team spirit at Old Trafford appeared to slump during Mourinho's reign, Solskjaer is clear in his view that results are the main reason for an improved atmosphere around the club, rather than his own personal impact.

"When you're winning games of football, you're always going to have a good team spirit around the place," he told United's official website. "But that doesn't just apply to the players, it's the staff as well.

"When you come in on Monday morning, it's well done and on to the next one. Don’t dwell too much on what’s happened because the focus is on the next one. I feel the whole club is thinking 'next game, next game' but of course you always enjoy winning."

Solskjaer started Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku against Arsenal, with Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford - who has scored in four consecutive Premier League matches - coming off the bench.

But the United boss does not envisage it becoming an issue keeping his four forwards happy with the return of the Champions League on the horizon, where his side is set to face Ligue 1 giant Paris Saint-Germain.

"Well, so far, there has been no problem because we've got so many games," he added. "As soon as it becomes just one game a week, it might be a problem but we rotate even during the games.

"When we can put Anthony and Rashy [Rashford] on for Alexis and Rom [Lukaku], who did a fantastic job [against Arsenal], it is only going to help us. The players have been very, very good at staying ready and being ready when they get on."

Looking forward to the game

Burnley captain Tom Heaton will be charged with keeping out Solskjaer's strikers on Tuesday, the former United goalkeeper having worked with the Norwegian during his time in charge of the club's reserves.

"He's a very good guy in terms of how he is, and he was excellent with me on a personal note," Heaton told Burnley's website. "But there's certainly a strength in there that's required for the job and he's probably got that. I am absolutely delighted to see him doing so well.

"I think he's brought that little bit of history and United tradition to it, that fresh impetus and a bit of positivity and it looks like the players have responded to it. Sometimes that change can have that effect. They are on a great run, but we are looking forward to the game."

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