5:30 PM ET
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has told his Manchester United players they will come crashing back to earth if they begin to believe the hype around their budding title challenge.
United will go clear at the top of the Premier League if they beat Burnley at Turf Moor on Tuesday ahead of their crucial trip to champions Liverpool on Sunday.
– Dawson: Utd’s Carabao Cup loss was a missed opportunity
– Stream ESPN FC Daily on ESPN+ (U.S. only)
It will be the first time United have been top of the table after 17 games since December 2012 but Solskjaer has told his squad it means nothing.
“I would like to think that we go into this game, not thinking about where we will end up Tuesday night in the table but where we can end up in the table in May,” said Solskjaer.
“That’s what matters. You accumulate the points throughout the season so if at one point you think ‘ah we’ve made it now, we have cracked it’ and you relax, that is when it’s going to hit you back.
“So we are very focused. We have some good characters in the team, the dressing room is louder, it’s more vocal.”
Solskjaer is hopeful Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw will be fit to face Burnley after they missed the 1-0 win over Watford on Saturday.
He also has Edinson Cavani available again after suspension, while the Norwegian has also revealed he intends to pick captain Harry Maguire at Turf Moor, even though one more yellow card would mean the defender is suspended for the trip to Anfield.
Craig Burley and Shaka Hislop weigh up whether big clubs like Man United should be in the FA Cup this early.
“Harry is playing, definitely — that’s for sure,” said Solskjaer.
“You can only take three points from the game that you are playing in. You cannot put your eyes on games beyond this one.”
Solskjaer is expecting “two or three” squad players to leave during the January window with one, defender Timothy Fosu-Mensah, wanted by both Bayer Leverkusen and Ajax.
But despite Bruno Fernandes’ success since arriving last January, the Norwegian insists he is unlikely to make any new additions that could potentially give his team the edge in the title race.
“The situation is different now from a year ago so it’s unlikely something is going to happen,” said Solskjaer.
“But you’re right. Bruno came in and has had a great impact, made us a better team and he’s become a better player as well. If there was something out there that was nailed on I wouldn’t say no but it’s likely nothing is going to happen.”