Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has underlined the importance of Manchester United securing a Champions League place for next season.

United, currently on a 14-game unbeaten run and sit in sixth place, are five points off fourth-placed Chelsea, with seven games left to play in the Premier League.

With the Reds having missed out on the Champions League in four of the last six seasons, Solskjaer knows how important it is for the three-time winners to be back in European football’s elite club competition.

“Every year you’re in the Champions League is a great experience and, for the players, it’s a step forward, playing against the best,” said Solskajer.

“Of course, for us, that’s what we’re striving to do and get to, as well as winning trophies, and to get there we need to focus on one game at a time, because there are so many teams just above and below us that want that place.

“So we don’t want to get distracted by thinking too far ahead. We just need to go one game at a time and think, when you go into the next one, at least we’ve won the previous one.

“I think there are many teams in that battle for third and fourth.

“You’ve got Leicester, Chelsea, us, Wolves doing really well, and I’m sure Tottenham, Arsenal and Sheffield United still want put a run together and put a challenge in there.

“So it’s exciting, it must be exciting for all the fans, who have been waiting so long now to have football that matters on the TV.

“Of course, we all want the fans in the stadiums, but at least now we can sit back and watch some exciting and important games.

“The players are working really hard and they want to do as well as they can and for me, as a team, we’re trying to implement our ideas.”

United go to Brighton on Tuesday on the back of their impressive unbeaten run, with Solskjaer warning his players not to get too far ahead of themselves.

“You can talk about 14 games [unbeaten],” said the United boss.

“But we’re just looking at the next one, and as long as you go into the next game knowing you’ve won the previous game, it’s a good place to be in.”

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