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Ole tells United players not to believe the hype

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ON A STREAK: Mason Greenwood has been in incredible form for Manchester United

ON A STREAK: Mason Greenwood has been in incredible form for Manchester United

PA

ON A STREAK: Mason Greenwood has been in incredible form for Manchester United

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has told his players to ignore the hype as Manchester United prepare to deal with in-form Southampton and their "rock and roll" football.

There have been so many frustrating periods at Old Trafford since Alex Ferguson retired as Premier League champion in 2013, but under the Norwegian they at least appear to be heading in the right direction.

Unbeaten in 17 matches in all competitions stretching back to January, United have won their last four league matches by three or more goals - the first side in Premier League history to have done that.

Champions League qualification is in their cross-hairs as well as FA Cup and Europa League glory, but Solskjaer warned against complacency against Saints tonight.

"We've had an up and down season," Solskjaer said. "We started fantastically well against Chelsea, got a great win, played some very good football.

Difficult

"Then we got a setback and of course I think the players have stuck to the task in hard times, difficult times, believed in coaches, believed in what we're trying to do and trusted us when results haven't gone great.

"We just want to keep on working and now the results are coming, the excitement is coming, now it's time to keep your feet on the ground, keep working, keep doing the right things.

"Don't believe in all the hype or the praise. That's not their job. Their job is to perform when they play, same as don't believe in all criticism when you don't do well.

"Trust your team-mates, trust yourself and now you can see the end is not too far away.

"It's a strange one because we've been out for so long. It's only four games left of the season so the goal is getting close."

United are sticking to the old adage of taking it one game at a time and Solskjaer is well aware of the threat posed by Monday's visitors to an empty Old Trafford.

Southampton have rallied remarkably since the 9-0 mauling at home to Leicester in October, with Ralph Hasenhuttl taking the side well away from trouble and up the standings.

"Southampton's a very fine football club with traditions and you can see it is a proper football club," Solskjaer said.

"I wasn't expecting any changes (after the 9-0). I've followed Ralph's time there and you know what he's doing.

"I've got huge respect for the way that both the club and they have turned it around.

"Let's call it a German, aggressive rock and roll style of football.

"It's direct, it's high energy, it's hard work, but it's difficult to play against.

"And if you want to be part of his team, you've got to be able to run 10km, 11km, 12km. You've got to be able to sprint.

"We've watched quite a few games and I really enjoy watching them because it's high entertainment and high energy all the time."

Hasenhuttl has told his Southampton players they have nothing to lose away to United tonight.

The Saints travel to Old Trafford unbeaten in three Premier League games, but they will come up against a United side in imperious form.

Southampton's away form, though, has been strong this term and they did beat United at Old Trafford in January 2016.

Face

Hasenhuttl said: "What can you lose? You can only win. Everybody thinks they will win the game. They will show us how strong they are and this is exactly what we need to face.

"To have a challenge is what we like most. This is exactly what we want to have. Everybody knows that they are strong at the moment and we go there and have a not so bad away record this season. We showed some really good games there.

"We like to have this challenge. Even though it's the third game in a week, we play on Monday and both teams have one day more to rest. It's a big game on Monday evening. Everybody can enjoy this game and we will, absolutely."

If Southampton are to record a positive result at Old Trafford, they will have to find a way of stopping United's in-form forwards.

Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood have all netted in recent successes, with 18-year-old Greenword on target in three consecutive games.

But, even though Hasenhuttl believes the players coming through in the UK are promising talents, he pointed out they are not the only country producing a strong crop of youngsters.

"This run of talents is not only in England. Also in Germany, in other countries," the Saints manager added.

"In all the countries, they build their academies and the development of the young players is getting better and better. It's not so one dimensional, it's multi-dimensional."