Brazilian midfielder Fred has told Manchester United’s club website he is targeting a title challenge.
Unlike last year when a top four place was United’s ambition, there is talk of a title chase amid the most open Premier League title race since 2015/16.
Fred believes United can reach the top of the league and fight to stay there, ahead of a hectic fixture schedule.
United are currently ninth and can move up to fifth with a win away to Sheffield United tonight.
If we then win the game in hand against Burnley, United will be in second place just two points behind Liverpool – who we face in mid-January.
There is a lot of work to do still, with just 11 of 38 matches played. Fred is feeling positive.
He said: “If we can win all of them, we’ll be very close to the leaders at the top of the league or we could even take first place. So we’ll look to win every game and I’m certain our team will do everything to reach the top of the table and stay there.”
Positivity is what you want to hear
Fred’s comments are reflective of an optimistic mood among United players.
As the former Shakhtar midfielder notes, United are in a strong position right now; and the players realise the opportunity in front of them.
This is good. It would be worrying if United’s players failed to grasp what a great opportunity they have ahead.
While it is important to take one step at a time, it is good to see the bigger picture too if it works as a motivating factor.
After Sheffield United there are several tough league games in there, Leeds, Leicester, Wolves, and Aston Villa – so if United do win all these then we will truly deserve to be in the title discussion.
Big game vow
Fred also insists he relishes playing in the big matches. His comments underline why he is such a regular pick under Solskjaer.
He said: “I really like playing in big games, I think all players like them too. Personally, I love them. I’m really happy to have had another big game, but I think we have to concentrate on all games, whoever the opposition.”
United also have a Carabao Cup quarter-final coming up next week away at Everton.
Solskjaer will be tempted to rotate and rest Fred despite his starring role away at Goodison Park last month.
But with his comments and usually strong performances in big matches, it will be hard to leave him out.
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