THE noise coming out of the Manchester United dressing room is getting louder and louder.

And that is music to the ears of manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

His Red Devils will go top of the table for the first time in nearly three-and-a-half years if they avoid defeat at Burnley tonight.

And it would quieten down all those who have questioned the character of this United squad, such as former skipper Roy Keane — for the time being at least.

Norwegian Solskjaer — who won six Premier League titles during his glittering 11-year playing career at Old Trafford — firmly believes this group is made of the right stuff.

It is seven-and-a-half years since United were last champions but Solskjaer senses they have the fibre to at least stay in the hunt this time around.

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He said: “We are very focused. We have some good characters in the team, the dressing room is louder, it’s more vocal.

“Of course, we have experience. We’ve got Nemanja Matic, who has won it a few times, Juan Mata, Edinson Cavani.

“Bruno Fernandes has come in and I think he wants to feel part of a team that is going to be challenging for trophies.

“We have more players that can grab the situation.


“I feel that the group’s mentality is getting better, so of course that is the big thing for me — that we go into games in the right frame of mind.

“Sometimes results don’t go as expected but I am very happy with where we are mentally at the moment.”

Despite the incentive on offer at Turf Moor tonight, Solskjaer was quick to warn his players not to believe they have got the Premier League sussed.

He said: “If at one point you think, ‘Ah, we’ve made it now, we’ve cracked it’ and you relax, that is when it’s going to hit you back.

"I like to think we go into this game not thinking about where we end up in the table that night but where we can end up in May. That’s what matters.”

Solskjaer played in a United team that was generally packed full of characters and winners — but their togetherness was also vital.

And the way Solskjaer’s men have picked themselves up after various setbacks this season is a promising sign in the eyes of the United boss.

He said: “There is nothing worse than having your manager or coaches always telling you what to do — this, that and the other.

“I’ve been lucky enough to have played in a team with loads of characters, that we look after ourselves and do yourself justice.

“You don’t just let yourself down, you can let your team down — so you need leaders there to really grab hold of the ones who stray out of line and from what we have agreed as a group.

“When you’re part of a football team, there’s nothing stronger than being part of a team that keeps together. I’ve also seen teams that have cliques, that don’t work together — that’s the killer of a team.

“So it’s a big, big thing that the group push themselves.

“I’ve been lucky enough at Molde and here now to have a feeling that I can trust them more and more to look after themselves.”

When Solskjaer was a player, United fans grew used to seeing their team at the top of the table.

They have almost forgotten the feeling now, so it would be a welcome sight for them to be looking down on old rivals Liverpool and Manchester City.

However, Solskjaer said: “The league table doesn’t matter now — but you’ve got to pick up points.

“When you get to March and April, that’s where the league will be decided.

“It’s important for us now to establish ourselves up among the top four. We’ve only finished top four three times since Alex Ferguson left.

“If we can do that again — and improve on third — that’s progress.”

Cavani is one of the players viewed as a leader by Solskjaer, who believes the striker can still have a big say in the season.

The Uruguayan, 33, is available again after serving a three-match ban for using racist language on social media.

The former Paris Saint-Germain ace has started only five matches in what has been a frustrating start to his United career.

But his manager believes the way he behaves on and off the pitch will be an example to younger players in the squad.

Solskjaer said: “You can see he is a player who has looked after himself his whole career and found out what works for him.

“He knows he is here to improve and to get ready for the game, so I really like those things you see in players who have had careers like that.”

Meanwhile, United defender Timothy Fosu-Mensah, 23, is close to joining German outfit Bayer Leverkusen in a £1.5million deal.

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