Manchester City may have won back-to-back Premier League titles, and currently stand 11 points clear of Manchester United, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists his team are still bigger than their neighbours.
Despite not winning a championship since 2013, the Old Trafford boss insists his side are the biggest – and will one day return back to the top.
“As a club, the size of our club, we’re going to have to bridge that gap and our aim is to go past the teams above us and I believe at Man United that’s what we have to aim for, that’s what we have to go for and that’s what we have to believe in,” said Solskjaer who faces City in a Premier League derby on Saturday.
“We have the resources to do it, we have the people to do it, so why not?”
Solskjaer mocked City’s past struggles as he recalled a five-year wait before playing in a Manchester derby.
The Norwegian joined United in the summer of 1996 just after City had been relegated to the second tier – and eventually faced them in a 1-1 draw in 2001.
“At least we play every year now,” he added.
“Took many years before I played a Manchester derby myself, it’s changed in a way.”
And when asked if United were still bigger, despite City’s recent dominance, he responded: “Yeah.”
Solskjaer also dismissed the views of former bosses David Moyes and Jose Mourinho that City’s spending power meant United would always struggle to match them.
“Don’t agree,” he added. “What are you going to do? Are you going to give up? Not challenge them? That’s what we’ve got to get back to.”
“How? Don’t deviate from a plan that you have set out and believe in what we’re doing behind the scenes, believe in the players, believe in the coaching staff.”
“As long as we’re going in the right direction and we get there, that day when we do it is going to be a very good day.”
Solskjaer said United would also look to strike the right balance in their squad with their transfer strategy.
“Do I look like I’m going to spend hundreds of millions of pounds on players we’re not sure of?” he said.
“As I said, we need to rebuild. We need to change the culture, you want the culture with that hunger and selflessness that most of these players are showing.”
“You’ve got the (Scott) McTominays and (Marcus) Rashfords and (Jesse) Lingards, the players that know what Man United is.”
“We keep on going in the direction we’re going. We know we need to strengthen the squad in depth.”
Having beaten Chelsea, Leicester and Tottenham, and drawn with Liverpool, this season, Solskjaer says City will hold no fears for his side when they go to the Etihad.
“They haven’t had the results of last year, but they’re still the best team in the league when they’re playing the way they can,” he added.
“You can’t argue we’re too far behind, but it’s a chance for us now to challenge them and bridge that gap a little bit.”
Anthony Martial returns to the squad after missing the Spurs game, but Paul Pogba remains sidelined following his ankle injury.