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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Says Manchester United Must Improve Despite Pre-Season Wins

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistAugust 2, 2019

OSLO, NORWAY - JULY 29:  Manchester United Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer poses for a portrait during a Manchester United training session at Ullevaal Stadion on July 29, 2019 in Oslo, Norway. (Photo by David Lidstrom/Getty Images)
David Lidstrom/Getty Images

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has called on Manchester United to improve despite their perfect pre-season record from five games this summer. 

The Red Devils have beaten Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Italian giants Inter Milan in the past fortnight, but Solskjaer told TalkSport he wants to see more from his team.

The Norwegian said: "We need to improve, and we need to be better. The more we improve and the more we get better, the bigger the chance we can challenge for trophies at the end of the season. These boys have shown their capabilities. If we just stay level-headed, I can see us improving a lot."

Juan Mata scored a 92nd-minute penalty to give the side a 1-0 victory over Norwegian minnows Kristiansund on Tuesday, their fourth clean sheet in five outings. 

Solskjaer spoke to MUTV after the game and was positive, even if the win came via narrow margins:

Manchester United @ManUtd

🗣 Ole's thoughts on a fifth consecutive pre-season win for #MUFC... https://t.co/5IQk4K2SAA

United begin their Premier League campaign against Chelsea on August 11 and are seeking to win their opening fixture for a fifth year in succession.

Speaking to TalkSport, Solskjaer emphasised the need to not get carried away with their pre-season success as he prepares to take on Frank Lampard's side in Week 1.

He added: "We've been very pleased with it. It's been nice seeing the boys come back to pre-season in good shape. But then again, no points have been handed out, and it doesn't really matter when Chelsea come to Old Trafford on August 11."

Solskjaer has made a point of promoting youth players during his first pre-season as United manager. Angel Gomes, 18, and Tahith Chong, 19, have each made good strides in the senior team, and the former recently scored a late winner in the 2-1 victory over Spurs:

Manchester United @ManUtd

🎥 Watch @AnthonyMartial and @AGomes_47's goals plus much more from our 2-1 #ICC2019 win over Spurs now! Enjoy our two remaining pre-season games live on #MUTV: https://t.co/TciVC85unp https://t.co/sabhYMGnKx

No United youngster has made greater progress than the 17-year-old Mason Greenwood, however. He scored his first senior goal in a 4-0 hammering of Leeds United before netting a terrific winner in the 1-0 victory against Inter, earning praise from Goal's Kris Voakes:

Kris Voakes @krisvoakes

All 11 players changed on the hour mark, and Mason Greenwood immediately sets up Tahith Chong then gets a snap-shot away. The 17-year-old just always manages to make a chance. #MUFC

United finished sixth in England's top flight last season and failed to qualify for the UEFA Champions League.

Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho at the helm on an interim basis in December 2018 and enjoyed an initial boost in form before overseeing a disastrous end to the campaign, during which they won only two of their past 12 matches.

The club has still made only two signings, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James, this summer with the transfer window set to close on Thursday.

Right-back Wan-Bissaka joined from Crystal Palace for an initial £45 million and quickly made an impression on football writer Chris Winterburn:

Chris Winterburn @cmwinterburn

Different phases of pre-season evident in the fitness disparity between United and Internazionale, but the former have played some really nice football to be fair. Wan Bissaka looks a monumental upgrade at right back.

United bring their pre-season to a close on Saturday, when they are set to face AC Milan at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, hoping to win the 2019 International Champions Cup.