Sean Dyche: Manchester United 'Not a Million Miles' Away from Challenging Again

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistJanuary 21, 2020

Manchester United's Norwegian manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer throws the ball back in from the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north west England on January 19, 2020. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /  (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
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Sean Dyche has said he believes Manchester United are not far away from challenging once again in the Premier League.

Dyche's Burnley side visit Old Trafford on Wednesday, and the Clarets manager has said the Red Devils could soon be back amongst the major contenders in the top flight.

David Charlesworth of the Independent reported Dyche thinks United can emulate Liverpool in the rebuilding of their starting XI.

"With Liverpool, it's taken them three, four, five years to get that to where it is now, it has taken time.

"Liverpool have managed to allow that period for that manager. Whether Man United allow that period for Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer], I don't know.

"... It's not an easy task, even at their level, even with their finances, even with their power to attract players. It's not easy to find a way of rebalancing.

"I don't think they're a million miles away, personally, and Ole's doing a good job of staying calm in that period, of finding the right players and mixtures to be successful."

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 15:  Anthony Martial consoles the injured Marcus Rashford of Manchester United during the FA Cup Third Round Replay match between Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford on January 15, 2020 in Manchester
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been in charge at United for 13 months, and consistency has been the major issue to face the Norwegian manager.

The exits of Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez and Chris Smalling have left the Red Devils' dressing room short of experience, but it appeared necessary for Solskjaer to focus on building a more youthful squad over an extended period.

Aaron Wan Bissaka and Daniel James, both 22, were part of the additions with new captain Harry Maguire last summer, providing United with a hungrier squad.

However, a lack of numbers has hampered the team during injury layoffs for Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba. Marcus Rashford is now sidelined with a stress fracture in his back and might not return until April.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 15:  Marcus Rashford of Manchester United receives treatment during the FA Cup Third Round Replay match between Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford on January 15, 2020 in Manchester, England. (Photo
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Dyche noted the England international will be a miss for the hosts on Tuesday night: "Injuries to very good players like Rashford are not helpful for them. It might be a help for us, who knows? That would be pleasant if it is."

United lie just six points behind fourth-placed Chelsea after the Blues drew 2-2 with Arsenal on Tuesday. A victory over Burnley would provide United with traction in their attempts to secure UEFA Champions League football next term.

Solskjaer could add to his squad before the January window shuts, and with Rashford on the shelf, United could do with signing a goalscorer who could add relief in the final third of the pitch.

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