Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confessed he has enjoyed forcing sceptics to change their minds about how good his side are.
The Red Devils entered the 2019/20 season in crisis, and that trend continued as they found themselves as low as 14th in the Premier League table at one point. Solskjaer was seen by many as out of his depth, and the United squad as a whole was often ridiculed for it's 'lack of talent'.
The idea of United finishing in the top four and sealing Champions League football was laughable for a large part of the season, but a massive upturn in form after January, which saw United end the campaign on 14-game unbeaten run, certainly turned things around.
"We’ve had ups and downs and it’s come down to the last game. I have to say it’s a wonderful achievement from everyone. The staff, they are incredible. I did have a chat with everyone this morning on no matter what happened today, we’ve come so far as a team. We’re building a culture and I’m very proud of all their efforts and pleased with their efforts because to win this game was massive mentally for them as well, after losing two semi-finals this year.”
A lot of credit for United's form has gone to January arrival Bruno Fernandes - Solskjaer confessed the midfielder had a 'massive impact' - but plenty of praise has been directed at the boss himself, who has reunited a struggling squad and managed to help them play some of the Premier League's most exciting football.
“I believe in what I do, I believe in how I’ve been doing," Solskjaer added. "We all have different ideas on management of how we go about things and I do it my way and I think that’s the only way I can do it.
"I have a fantastic staff, the players have bought into this, the personalities out there have taken on board what we’ve been doing. I’m not going to say I’m not the man of course, because I’m in the job. I believe in what I’m doing. If I’m getting criticised, that makes me stronger and makes me believe more in what I’m doing.
“For this team [Champions League football] means, better opposition next year and better games and we need to step it up definitely. It means every midweek when we have Champions League you have to go with your best team. It’s not like the Europa League where we can rest players and give a certain amount of minutes for young lads. Now we have to go for every game.
"That’s another stepping stone. You have to go and get fitter and stronger and more robust. That’s another part of the Champions League - the financial gain - but that’s not in my head. The club, they know what I feel we need and we’re going to try and pursue it.”