Alexis Sanchez has opened up on what Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has done to change attitudes at Manchester United .
Solskjaer’s more attacking approach has woken up everyone at Old Trafford – not just the Chilean star.
And now the 30-year-old has lifted the lid on what the Norwegian wants from the Red Devils.
The former Arsenal striker said: “The players are the same with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as they were with Mourinho.
“But now we are having more success in attack and we are defending better.
“The fact he has so much history with this club opens the way a lot when he speaks. His philosophy is to touch the ball a lot, to control the game and to score goals.
“You can tell that his position on the field as a player was as a forward, but he still wants us to take good care of our penalty area too.
“That’s the way you get better results. The only thing the manager told us was that we could improve the situation ourselves.
“He said that everything depended on us and it was in our own hands to climb the table.”
And the Chilean admits the atmosphere at United is vastly improved – even if he is careful not to blame Jose Mourinho for what went on before.
The 30-year-old said: “In the end, results in football make the difference and so we are happier than we were before.
“It’s not only on the pitch. In the stands, I see an even better atmosphere at Old Trafford.
“The fans trust us more and that’s very positive for everyone. It helps you to keep on improving.”
And his old club Arsenal could feel the feel force of the Manchester United machine as Sanchez prepares for their FA Cup match on Friday.
Sanchez was a big hit at the Emirates when he signed from Barcelona for £30million and scored 80 goals in three-and-a-half seasons.
But his career has taken a dip since his high-profile move to the Red Devils 12 months ago.
Reports of a fall-out with Mourinho did not help and there have also been injury problems – the latest a hamstring problem picked up in the FA Cup third-round victory over Reading.
It means he has been a bystander during Solskjaer’s dramatic arrival, in which the Norwegian has transformed United’s season with seven successive victories.
An FA Cup trip to north London, however, is the perfect time to put that right.
Sanchez said: “We’ve had a good run of results and now we have a key month ahead for our future.
“Our goal is to finish in the top four and, of course, to win trophies. But, first of all, my challenge is to be a starter, to play and to score goals.”
The good news for Sanchez is that with United now aiming for a top-four finish in the Premier League and still in the FA Cup and Champions League, there will be opportunities to challenge frontline starters Marcus Rashford and Romelu Lukaku.
United’s run of fixtures includes a visit by leaders – Liverpool and a Champions League tie against Paris Saint-Germain.
That’s even without taking into consideration an FA Cup fifth-round tie, should they overcome Arsenal.
Sanchez added: “The games we are going to play over this time will decide a lot of our goals for the season, so we have to be ready.”
The FA Cup is certainly one of those targets and probably the most likely chance of a trophy for Solskjaer during his initial contract.