Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted Manchester United need to get their mojo back – starting on Tuesday night against Southampton.
United’s 13-game unbeaten run in the Premier League came to an end with last week’s shock 2-1 defeat at home to bottom club Sheffield United.
Solskjaer’s side followed that up with a toothless display against a weakened Arsenal side at the weekend, drawing 0-0 at the Emirates Stadium.
The visit of Saints – who have lost their last three league games – to Old Trafford offers United the chance to get their unlikely title challenge back on track.
And Solskjaer admitted his side must rediscover the spark that saw them go on the impressive unbeaten run which took them to the top of the table, before they faltered.
“We want to get that mojo back, that spark,” said Solskjaer.
“We want to keep trying to dominate games, but we need a little bit of brightness, that spark in the last third and take our chances.
“Every team is in the same situation and position. Whoever recovers the best and performs the best, whoever’s coping with the situation the best, will win.
“We want to put a run together. Since November 1, we’ve lost against Sheffield United and that’s the only defeat we’ve had in the league.
“We need to get back to performing at that level and standard. Sometimes you’ve got to be lucky and sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.
“More times than not, it’s best to just focus on yourself and keep on being consistent in your behaviour.
“If you prepare the same way and approach games the right way, you’ll get results.”
Second-placed United trail leaders and local rivals Manchester City by three points, while Pep Guardiola’s side also have a game in hand.
Although City look firm title favourites, Solskjaer said there was no point in worrying about the prospect of the Blues getting too far ahead to reel in.
“We can’t control what any other club is doing,” said Solskjaer. “We can only control our own performances, our own results. That’s our focus.
“We have to keep performing, keep improving – which we have – and keep scoring goals.
“There’s only one team that’s scored more than us in the Premier League. So keep scoring more goals, keep conceding less.
“Tick one game off after another. That’s the only focus. It’s very boring, but the focus has to be on the next one.
“The season is so tight, so close, with so many deciding factors. We’ve played City once and we’re a little bit more than halfway through the league.
“We can only play the opposition once from now until the end, anyway. So it won’t make too big a difference to think about the others.”