Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said his side need time to develop but has backed them to fight for a top-four spot this season.
United beat Tottenham Hotspur and champions Manchester City last week to climb to fifth in the table with 24 points, moving within five points of the Champions League places.
A patchy run of form in October, where they dropped to 14th following a 1-1 draw against leaders Liverpool, had threatened their chances of finishing in the top four, but Solskjaer said that he never lost belief in his players.
“It’s never been ridiculous (finishing in the top four). We’re not talking about winning the league now but I have said all along that this group needs time,” Solskjaer told reporters after Thursday’s Europa League victory over AZ Alkmaar.
“We need to develop as a group… and we’re going to because they have the right attitude.
“There are too many games in December, January, February, March, April. You cannot start looking at the result and the outcome. We need to keep doing what we’re doing… I believe then that the result will come.”
United face a potentially tricky test against Everton on Sunday and take on Watford, Newcastle United, Burnley and Arsenal in their next fixtures.
“It’s a vital period for us,” Solskjaer added. “We want to get points in home games and I know Everton have had a big upturn with Big Dunc (Duncan Ferguson) coming in last week.”
“I watched their game against Chelsea and it’s a team that’s going to come here and make it hard for us. We’re too far behind at the moment so we need to keep this momentum going.”
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