Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said winning the Europa League would not be a mark of progress for Manchester United and believes trophies are “an ego thing” for some managers.
The United boss, speaking on the eve of the second leg of their last-16 tie against AC Milan, believes the club’s league position is a better indicator of the progress the team has been making in the last two-and-a-half years.
Solskjaer, who is looking to win his first silverware as United boss, appeared to aim a dig at former Red Devils manager Jose Mourinho, who led the club to League Cup and Europa League glory, but saw his side finish sixth in the Premier League.
Speaking about United’s recent trophy drought, Solskjaer said:
“I’ve been here for two-and-a-half of those years and, coming in, as I’ve said so many times, I felt a big rebuild had to be made.
“In the league position you see if there’s any progress. For me, that’s always the bread and butter of the season, that you see how capable you are of coping with ups and downs. Any cup competition can give you a trophy but sometimes it’s more of an ego thing for other managers and clubs to finally win something.
“But we need to see progress and, if we perform well enough, the trophies will end up at the club again. It’s not like a trophy will say that ‘we’re back’, no. It’s the gradual progression of being in and around the top of the league and the consistency, and the odd trophies. Sometimes a cup competition can hide the fact you’re still struggling a little bit.”