ED WOODWARD has put Manchester United's unlikely Premier League title challenge down to the club's 'top-class recruitment'.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has overseen seven wins and two draws from the Red Devils' last nine Premier League games to push them within touching distance of bitter rivals Liverpool.
The turnaround in form is remarkable considering the question marks surrounding United's poor start to the campaign.
However, executive vice-chairman Woodward has claimed the club's work in the transfer market is responsible for the results on the pitch.
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United didn't have the perfect summer window after missing out on top target Jadon Sancho but did bring in the likes of Donny van de Beek, Edinson Cavani and Alex Telles.
Meanwhile, Bruno Fernandes has continued to prove a revelation for the club since his arrival back in January.
And speaking in United's programme ahead of the clash with Aston Villa, Woodward claimed he is optimistic about his hopes for next year.
He said: "Just as important is the work we see being done behind the scenes to build a winning culture consistent with the club's traditions of attacking football played by youthful, hard-working teams fusing homegrown talent with top-class recruits.
"We are getting closer to those objectives as the squad continues to develop following the arrivals of Bruno Fernandes, Donny van de Beek, Alex Telles and Edinson Cavani.
"Our ongoing investment reflects the tremendous resilience of the club and our commitment to supporting Ole, while remaining disciplined at an extremely challenging time.
"There is much to be excited about on the pitch as Ole and the team head into the new year competing strongly in the Premier League and with three cups still to pursue.
"The team's positive form has lifted all our spirits in recent weeks, winning seven and drawing two of our last nine domestic games.
'"There are many positive statistics showing the progress made under Ole in the past year. But they tell only part of the story.
"As always, our priority is to win trophies and, with the team going into the new year competing on four fronts, we are optimistic about the path ahead in 2021."
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