Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said pre-season friendlies are crucial in their attempt to win the Premier League in the coming season.
The Red Devils narrowly missed the trophy last season after finishing second behind rivals Manchester City.
Solskjaer added that teams can lose the league in the first few weeks and therefore stressed the importance of ironing out issues in their performance in preseason games.
United had their first friendly on Sunday in which they beat Derby 2-1.
“There will be more [minutes] for some of the more experienced, of course. There will probably be less and less for the kids, and that’s the way it is.
“But we have to start better than last season. We didn’t get off to a good start at all.
“I think the Premier League is more competitive. We had maybe a competitor every season when I was playing, so the first six or seven games, very important.
“You don’t win the league, but you can lose the chance to win the league in the first six or seven games,” Solskjaer told MUTV.
Solskjaer is putting pressure on him in the upcoming campaign to win his first title at the head of the club after failing to win any trophies since taking office in 2018.
He came close last season when his side lost on penalties to Villarreal in the Europa League final.
The boss, who used a lot of young players in Sunday’s game, was happy with his side’s performance against Derby.
He added: “The first game is always difficult, this is the first test of 45 minutes, large pitch, took a little time to start, a lot of young players have the chance to play with some of the members of the first team.
“To M [Heaton] was very positive, he is also there to challenge others. He behaved so well throughout his career. I was just at the end of my career when he arrived, so I’m so happy to have him.
“We have a young team, a young team, for players like him to come in, Granty stayed, Nemanja and Jesse, those two played really well.
“Tom wants to play too, I think he was unlucky with an injury last season. I think he would have been in the England squad otherwise. Of course he has ambitions.”
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