Yet if United can hang on to second place following third his first full season in 2019-20 it represents solid foundations on which to build.
“You’ve got to make progress step by step, that’s the reality,” he said. “If we can manage second place and keep winning and get second, you want to finish strongly.
“Third last year, second this, close to a trophy. It’s progress.
“It’s not the end game – the end game is winning the league but it’s progress, step by step, and if we do that well enough, that is when you get trophies and league titles.”
United can close the gap on City to eight points tomorrow with victory over Burnley but Solskjaer is taking nothing for granted.