(Reuters) – After being eliminated in the Champions League, Manchester United has nothing to think about except a potentially seasonal week. The Premier League club aim to reach a top four goal, coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said.
FILE PHOTO: Football Football – Champions League quarter-final second leg – FC Barcelona – Manchester United – Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain – April 16, 2019 Manchester United coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer before the game REUTERS / Sergio Perez / File Photo
United, who left Europe in the quarter-finals of Barcelona on Tuesday, will play Everton, Manchester City and Chelsea in sixth straight over the next eight days.
After five remaining games in the season Tottenham Hotspur (67 points), Arsenal, Chelsea (both 66) and United (64) are separated by three points, with only two Champions League qualifying places to be awarded.
"These three games are imminent, they are our short-term focus," said Solskjaer before the Sunday trip to Everton the reporters. "We should not think about anything but having a great week ahead of us.
"It's great to have games to look forward to and the focus will change immediately. We know that Goodison Park is going to be tough, as other teams have seen.
"We would have wished for a semi-final but that is not the case. So we just have to focus on the games we have. We want to be here again (in the Champions League) and to be back in those stadiums we have to get into the top four. "
The Norwegian was honest in his assessment of some players he said needed a "reality check", with Anthony Martial being one of the players he told him to talk to.
The French striker, who scored 12 goals in all competitions this season, has scored only four goals in 16 appearances since Solskjaer took over in December.
"Most of them have really impressed me in their attitude, and of course there are some who need a reality check to see where they are right now," the manager said.
"I talked to individuals and they know, and I talked to Anthony. Anthony has a tremendous talent, a new contract … He knows we believe in him, so he just has to keep working. "
Solskjaer also said the club would make new commitments in the near-term to strengthen the squad, but he would be cautious on the transfer market.
"We know we have to be realistic here, and we know we have a job to do," he said. "There is no quick fix, it's not like we're buying seven players and suddenly we're in the right shape, we're where we are.
"We have to do it step by step and, of course, signatures will be made in the summer."
Report by Rohith Nair in Bangalore; Editing by Christian Radnedge