Ole Gunnar Solskjaer called on his Manchester United players to treat the title talk like any other “noise” surrounding the club.
United have received a lot of criticism this season, especially after leaving the Champions League earlier this month and for their indifferent home form.
Still, the results have been mostly positive and heading into a Christmas of goodwill, five points behind Liverpool with the game in hand.
Leeds ’6-2 breakthrough last weekend sparked suggestions that they could still make an unexpected breakthrough into the title, while a recent 2-0 defeat by Everton in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday further boosted their chances for silver.
“Well, it doesn’t matter,” Solskjaer said when asked about the title. “Noise is heard around Man Utd anyway, so for us it’s to improve as a team, take one game at a time – and we have to, that’s the name of the game.
“It’s the only way you’re going to challenge anything at the end of the season anyway, so it’s not something we’re talking about.
“The only thing we talk about and focus on is day-to-day improvement and learning, and how to deal with certain situations and maybe now we get praise at this point, and that’s another thing to learn to deal with.”
United’s strength this season has been their form away from home, as they have won all six Premier League games away, although they have had to come from behind each time.
The next trip is inconvenient as they face second-placed Leicester at King Power Stadium on Boxing Day, and Solskjaer recognizes the importance of inappropriate reception.
He said: “It will catch up with you if you lead teams, and Leicester is one of those teams you definitely don’t want to lead one or two goals because they have so many players in the transition you can easily admit two or three or four, so we have to start just as well as and U.S[(on Wednesday].
“We started very well, against Leeds, and of course the first goal in any game is very important.”
United won 2-0 at King Power Stadium in the final of the day last season, which was actually a play-off for placement in the Champions League.
Solskjaer said: “We had some very good games against Leicester, very close games. They are a very good side with a very good coach and I enjoyed watching them under Brendan (Rodgers).
“It was a big test for us to go to their stadium in the summer and we went through it in color. We played a controlled game, but I know it won’t be the same now because it’s a different time of season and they have some threats that you have to look for. ”
Still, confidence is high and Wednesday’s success at Goodison Park, secured by late goals from Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial, boosted the goodwill factor.
“Every time you win a game you get energy and it boosts your morale and belief,” said Solskjaer, whose team will host rival Manchester City in the semifinals on Jan. 6.
“Results give birth to good spirit and good mood and give birth to self-confidence.”
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