Manchester United favourite Dimitar Berbatov believes the Red Devils are reaping rewards after keeping faith in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as their head coach. The Red Devils had a disappointing end to the previous campaign as a five-match winless run, saw them miss out on the Champions League spots.
Despite this, the board decided to keep their faith in their manager and that has worked out this season with the club on course to secure Champions League football. Speaking on Betfair, Berbatov said that United have done impressively to register a Premier League double over arch-rivals Manchester City, considering it was unexpected from them.
He added that the club’s patience with Solskjaer is paying off with the players reacting to the demands of the Norwegian, he told: “Very few people were expecting to see Manchester United beat Pep Guardiola’s Man City both home and away in the Premier League this season. To beat them twice was a big feat. I have said this before, but for me, City are not the team they were last season, they are in the shadow of Liverpool and they know it.
“Sometimes, that can play on your mind and it can affect the way you perform and the way you perform – if you are a clever enough opposition you will know how to use that and it was a perfect example of how to exploit City’s weaknesses. Sometimes, patience is a virtue, but when you work and follow your philosophy, in the case of Ole, at some point it will pay off.”
United are currently unbeaten in 11 matches in all competitions and during this period, they have jumped to the fifth spot in the league standings while progressing to the quarter-final stage of the Europa League. At present, the fifth position would be sufficient to guarantee them with Champions League football next term, considering the Citizens are banned from European competitions for the next two years after breaking the Financial Fair Play regulations, as per UEFA.
Still, Pep Guardiola’s side can be reinstated to the competition with a successful appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. As such, United should be aiming to make the top four of the Premier League or win the Europa League in order to make the Champions League group stage next season.