Football: Manchester United Chief Ed Woodward Confident Of Success Under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Ed Woodward believes Manchester United are 'getting closer to their objectives' under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as they gear up for a potential Premier League title challenge.

United are three points behind Liverpool and have a game in hand as they prepare to welcome Aston Villa on New Year's Day. Despite elimination from the Champions League, United host Manchester City in the Carabao Cup semi-final next week and will take on Real Sociedad in the Europa League round-of-32 in February. In his programme notes for the Villa match, Woodward concedes these 'remain extremely challenging times for societies across the globe' amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The government announced a further 50,023 confirmed cases on Wednesday, the second highest daily figure since the pandemic began, and Woodward expressed his 'deepest respect and gratitude' to healthcare workers on the frontline.

However, Woodward believes 'we can all feel more optimistic about the medium and longer-term as vaccines arrive to fight the virus' and is optimistic about the 'gradual return of fans to football stadiums'.

United are unbeaten in nine in the league and Woodward trumpeted the club's 'disciplined' investment in the squad during 2020.

In his 531-word address, Woodward writes: "There is much to be excited about on the pitch as Ole and the team head into the new year competing strongly in the Premier League and with three cups still to pursue. "The team’s positive form has lifted all our spirits in recent weeks, winning seven and drawing two of our last nine domestic games at the time of writing, and let’s hope for another entertaining game this evening to start the year on a bright note.

"While this remains a difficult winter in the short-term, we can all feel more optimistic about the medium and longer-term as vaccines arrive to fight the virus. One of the many benefits from this should be the gradual return of fans to football stadiums and we can’t wait for ours to be allowed back inside Old Trafford.