Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has credited his Manchester United signings over the last 12 months with transforming the mentality inside the dressing room, insisting the days when players moved to Old Trafford for a comfortable payday are over.
The United manager made changing the culture in the squad a top priority when he got the job on a permanent basis and he believes the fruits of that work are being seen in some of the victories United are grinding out this season.
Solskjaer regularly made the point towards the end of 2018/19 that he needed to "rebuild" the United squad, telling players after the Easter Sunday defeat at Everton in April 2019 that "I'm going to be successful here and some players won't be part of that".
The Norwegian has been true to his word and since the summer of 2019 Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez, Matteo Darmian, Ashley Young, Ander Herrera, Antonio Valencia and Chris Smalling have all left the club.
In came Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James in Solskjaer's first summer, but it's the more recent additions of Bruno Fernandes, Donny van de Beek, Alex Telles and Edinson Cavani that he really believes have set the tone for a change of mentality.
That quartet have bought CVs with a combined 29 major trophies to United and that experience and winning mentality is a major part of United's resurgence, according to Solskjaer.
"With Bruno coming in a year ago but also in the summer with Edinson, Alex, Donny, I think they have brought a mentality that has added to us layer by layer," he said.
"Suddenly we start winning games that are tight. Last season we would have had four or five draws compared to the last minute wins, especially the wins away from home.
"You don’t just bring big talents in, you try to do a test of character or do the research as much as you can to have the right types. Because there are always players who think ‘there’s a game next week and I’ll still get my wages.’ That is the mentality we had to get away from.
"They had to come here to push the boundaries, push the levels, have the inner justice that I have spoken about – where they drive it on from the inside. It can’t come just from the outside. I feel I have a dressing room there that is driven to succeed."
Manchester United beat Fulham 2-1 thanks to goals from Edinson Cavani and Paul Pogba.
Pogba once again turned in a high-class performance as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side reclaimed top spot in the Premier League. Now United turn their attention to another clash with rivals Liverpool, this time in the FA Cup fourth round.
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The return to form of Paul Pogba, so integral in recent weeks, has also added to that dynamic. Solskjaer harked back to the winning dressing rooms he was a part of and sees similar traits now, comparing Pogba, Cavani and Fernandes to the kind of leadership Gary Neville, Roy Keane and Ryan Giggs used to show on and off the pitch.
"When you talk the talk you have to walk the walk. We had players here when I played – Roy Keane, Gary Neville, Paul Scholes – they drove it on. Maybe not Scholesy but Keano and Gary and Giggsy for that matter: when they spoke you knew you had no leg to stand on, or argue, because you knew that they did it every single day," he said.
"And that’s what we need from our players. We’ve seen, probably many of us, have been in dressing rooms where people are talking – but you think what are you talking about? I know you talk the talk but you don’t really walk the walk. Put your money where your mouth is.
"It’s one of those where the players you’re talking about (Pogba and Cavani and Bruno), that they’ve been there, they know what it takes and they demand it off their teammates."