Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Friday brushed off suggestions his team's form had dipped after three goalless draws in all competitions and backed them to regain their spark in Sunday's Premier League derby against Manchester City.
"We've had a week without scoring... it's not like we had six weeks with no form. We beat Sociedad 4-0 (in the first leg), Southampton 9-0," Solskjaer told reporters.
"It's also the opposition. I'm not buying into the narrative that we've had a dip in form. Three 0-0's isn't really us but we have lacked a bit of spark... We've not been clinical enough but they've been tight games and it's a chance to put that right.
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"In the Premier League when opponents don't make mistakes you've got to earn it. We lacked that, but then we are still unbeaten (away).
"Three-four weeks ago the narrative was we couldn't defend, now it is that we can't score."
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Solskjaer said his focus was on the match against City - who are on a run of 21 wins in all competitions and have a 14-point lead over second-placed United - and not where his team will eventually finish.
"We have to be the best possible United and try to improve on last season... We have to challenge ourselves. They're ahead of us by a far distance, so it's a test," Solskjaer said.
There are still 11 league games to go. I've said lets get to March and April before we talk about the title race.
Dean Henderson will be in goal again with first-choice David de Gea back in Spain following the birth of his child.
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GUARDIOLA HAILS SPECIAL MAN CITY SQUAD
City boss Pep Guardiola said on Friday his current squad of players is among the hungriest of his managerial career.
Spaniard Guardiola spent trophy-laden seasons with Barcelona and Bayern Munich before joining City ahead of the 2016-17 season and has since guided them to two league titles, three League Cups and the FA Cup.
City are on course to add to their collection of silverware under Guardiola with a 14-point lead over second-placed United in the Premier League and the manager was asked how his current squad compares to his previous teams.
"I had incredibly hungry teams in my career, lucky to be together in Barcelona and Bayern. To do what we've done in these four years, still winning ... these guys have something special," Guardiola told reporters.
"It comes from themselves. It comes from inside, trying to win, to collaborate with mates, to do the best we can. Now it's nice because we win. All the theories we do, the nice things they're saying is just for one reason. Because we win.
The smell when we win is so beautiful. But when we lose, the perspective will be calm.
Guardiola said City cannot take their foot off the gas with 11 games remaining in the league.
"Sport is reality and the reality is tomorrow training and then the game. In the summer, sit down with the club, take the best decisions for all of us and start next season," he added.
"Football is what we do today, so far we are magnificent but March, no titles are won."
Defender Nathan Ake is available for selection after missing 10 weeks of action due to injury.
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