Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Manchester United are heading into a “big moment” and that the hectic Christmas schedule could determine whether they can mount a title challenge this season.
United are five points off the top with a game in hand after the weekend’s results and Solskjaer believes six games in 17 days, starting with Thursday’s trip to Sheffield United, will determine whether a first title since 2013 is realistic.
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“I think Christmas time with the amount of games in a short space of time there will be changes in positions,” said Solskjaer. “We have a game less but it’s a big moment in the season, this time around Christmas, then get to new year, then you have a break with the FA Cup, maybe then we will have a clearer view of how it will look for us.
“Now we are looking at the Sheff United and Leeds United games.”
Solskjaer branded the 0-0 draw with Manchester City his team’s “best performance” in the derby since taking over as manager despite managing just two shots on target at Old Trafford on Saturday.
United’s approach drew some criticism but Solskjaer has defended their attacking output, particularly in home games against the big six during which they have managed just one goal against Tottenham, Chelsea, Arsenal and City.
“If you compare our goal tally from last season to now, we are way ahead with the amount of games that we have played and the amount of goals we have scored whether that is home or away it doesn’t really matter,” said Solskjaer.
“I think teams, and bigger teams set the stall out to defend against us and be happy with a draw.
“That is of course a challenge for us but I think we have proven in many games that we do create chances. I think we have scored and created a lot of chances at certain moments and it’s more varied in the way we score.”