Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has warned expectant Manchester United fans that it much more difficult for the Red Devils to win title now than it was in their heyday under Sir Alex Ferguson.
United fans have had to look on in envy as their fiercest rivals Liverpool finally ended their 30-year title drought – and in emphatic fashion.
The Reds have wrapped up their first Premier League crown with seven games to spare courtesy of Manchester City's defeat at Chelsea on Thursday.
United are without a top-flight title since Fergie called it a day after their triumphant 2012-13 campaign – and Solskjaer says the task is far from simple.
"We've got to be honest enough to say it is more difficult now," said the Norwegian ahead of the Red Devils' FA Cup quarter-final against Norwich on Saturday afternoon.
"We've always had challengers, whether it was Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool. But most of the time it was just one of them challenging us.
"Finishing third wasn't normal. Now there are at least four, maybe five teams that can win the league and the cups."
If United are to return to challenging, they will be counting on midfield duo Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes to strike up a partnership next season.
And Solskjaer is confident his two biggest names will complement each other having started together for the first time in the win over Sheffield United in midweek.
"I'm certain they can play well together, yes," he said. "They've both played well in training and in the games they play together it's exciting.
"There will be rotations and there will be times that Paul will play up with Bruno, sometimes it's deeper, sometimes we will play with a diamond. It's encouraging to see them together.
"It's also encouraging to see how Nemanja [Matic], Scott [McTominay] and Fred are making it difficult for me to keep them out.
"It's a good position to be in as a coach and you want to give Paul a chance to get 100 per cent fit with practice and rest.
"He's been out for so long and I think it says everything about the boy with the quality of his performances."
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