Ole Gunnar Solskjaer downplayed the importance of Manchester United’s shot at going top against Burnley, where Paul Pogba, Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw could be missing through injury.
Having followed up defeat to Manchester City in the Carabao Cup semi-finals by beating Watford in the FA Cup third round, attention returns to the Premier League ahead of a key double header.
United will usurp Liverpool at the summit if they get a positive result at Burnley on Tuesday evening, which would add extra fuel to next Sunday’s mouth-watering trip to their bitter rivals at Anfield.
“We’re not even halfway through the season yet,” Solskjaer said.
“Every game in the Premier League is a challenge, is a test. Every game gives you a different test.
“Watford, they gave us a test. Burnley is one test, Liverpool is another, then you go to Fulham, which is a different test again.
“No-one will remember how the league table looked like on the 12th of January in 2021.”
Solskjaer has understandably downplayed talk of a title challenge when it has been brought up, but the United boss appreciates building fan excitement ahead of a big week.
“I think it’s great that our fans are excited and that they’re happy with where we are at and that we have this little sense of excitement,” the Norwegian said.
“But then we’re not even halfway through the season so of course every game against Burnley, or every game against Liverpool matters a lot anyway.
“For me, all my eyes are on Tuesday and then let’s see where we’re at after that one.”
Eric Bailly will need to be assessed ahead of Tuesday’s trip to Turf Moor after taking a blow to the back of his head towards the first half against Watford.
Pogba, Lindelof and Shaw are also doubts heading into the Burnley match after missing Saturday’s FA Cup third round match through injury.
“I hope so, I hope all of them for Liverpool, definitely,” Solskjaer said. “I’m not sure if they’ll make the Burnley one.
“But light training (on Sunday) then we’ll have to see on Monday.”