Phil Neville feels Manchester United’s new-found belief and a lack of credible challengers means they have a chance of pushing for the title.
The Red Devils moved up to second in the standings with a 1-0 victory over Wolves on Tuesday night. Marcus Rashford’s injury-time strike was enough to hand Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men all three points at Old Trafford.
They are now just two points behind table-topping Liverpool after 15 games of the campaign. United are unbeaten since losing 1-0 to Arsenal on November 1, with seven wins and two draws.
Early-season negativity has been replaced by optimism as other clubs continue to falter. And that is one reason why former United ace Neville feels they can challenge for honours.
“I think they can,” he told Amazon Prime after the Wolves match. “I think what you’ve got to do when you’re looking at a title race is look at the competition.
“Liverpool are out in front and rightly so, I think they’re the best team in the country. But there is no other team that is actually grasping to go and challenge Liverpool.
“Chelsea have slipped up, Tottenham have slipped up recently, Everton are up there who are in really good form.”
Positive mindset reaping rewards
After a start that saw them 15th in the table, there were rumours that Solskjaer would be sacked. Confidence was low and performance scrutinised at every turn.
But that has now all changed, with the big-name players stepping up to the plate. And Neville believes a positive outlook means there is every chance the winning run will continue.
“There’s no reason why they can’t sustain this,” he added. “Ole has spoken about them being more robust – you can see that, the last 20 minutes you could just smell that they started to believe something might happen.
“That’s what the best teams have. They’ve got to sustain that, keep that level of consistency but I do think they can maintain that for the rest of the season and challenge Liverpool who at this moment of time have got injuries and could slip up.”
United have yet to beat any of their fellow so-called ‘big six’ teams this term. Their next challenge will be at home to Aston Villa on New Year’s Day.
The Premier League then takes a break before the biggest test of the campaign to date. Solskjaer takes his men to Anfield on January 17 for a showdown with the champions.
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