Andy Cole believes that Manchester United fans cannot ask much more from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season.
United are third in the Premier League, 14 points adrift of Manchester City ahead of today’s derby at the Etihad Stadium.
Frustrations have been voiced recently among the fanbase, following successive goalless draws against Real Sociedad, Chelsea and Crystal Palace.
However, while United’s title credentials have faded, Solskjaer ’s side have reached the last-16 of the Europa League, after a comfortable win over Real Sociedad, and the FA Cup quarter-finals following wins over Watford, Liverpool and West Ham.
Those achievements are enough for former United striker Cole , who thinks a sustained challenge for the Premier League title was always going to be a tough ask for the club this season.
“If you look at when he came in two and a half years ago, to where they are now, there is progress,” he said on Sky Sports News.
“To win the league becomes harder and harder each season. And then when you look at the exploits of Liverpool last season and Manchester City this season, it’s going to take a bit of time. Those two teams have been fantastic over the last couple of years.
“Progression, that’s what it’s about. Come next season, you never know what can happen.”
Cole was then asked whether United are on the right track under Solskjaer.
“I believe so,” he replied. “Two and a half years ago, to where Manchester United are at now. Unfortunately last season they got themselves to three semi-finals. If they had won those semi-finals then people would have been talking about how Manchester United have moved on. Unfortunately it’s not happened.
“This season, they’re still in the Europa League, they’re still in the FA Cup, second in the Premier League. I don’t think you can ask for much more at this stage.”
United finished third in the Premier League last season, while they lost their FA Cup semi-final 3-1 to Chelsea, their Carabao Cup semi-final 3-2 to Man City and their Europa League semi-final 2-1 against Sevilla.
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Manchester United were held to a 0-0 draw by Crystal Palace on Wednesday night.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his players were frustrated for the third goalless game in succession, dropping more points to allow Man City to streak away at the Premier League’s summit, on a poor day for the forwards.
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Solskjaer has won 73 of his 132 games in charge of United since taking over in December 2018, drawing 30 and losing 29.
United will be hoping to end Man City’s 21-game winning streak in this afternoon’s 4.30pm kick-off at the Etihad Stadium.
They have won three of their past four league and cup games away to City and could make it three consecutive matches away to City for the first time since a run of four victories between 1993 and 2000.