The Red Devils defender believes the new man at the Old Trafford helm is pushing the club back into contention for major honours

Phil Jones believes Manchester United will be Premier League title contenders in 2019-20 with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the wheel.

The Red Devils finished as runners-up last season behind neighbours Manchester City, but have endured another humbling slip off the pace in the current campaign.

Jose Mourinho’s inability to maintain a lofty standing ultimately cost him his job, with Solskjaer returned to Old Trafford on an interim basis in December.

He has since been handed a three-year contract after pushing United back into the race for a top-four finish and through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

There is still much work for him to do as part of another “rebuilding” project, but optimism has returned to the ranks as attention starts to shift towards future challenges for major honours.

Jones believes such success can be delivered, with the long-serving defender admitting that United intend to be in the mix next season.

The England international has said on the Red Devils’ claims to an English top-flight crown they have not secured since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013: “I don’t think we’re far away.

“I think obviously we had a poor start to the season. It’s sort of like a story of two halves of the season, really.

“That [challenging for major trophies] is the vision for the players, for the staff, for the fans, everyone involved in this football club.

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“It’s a wonderful place to play football and that’s where we want to get back to.

“We need to knuckle down. We need to play better than we did [against Watford], but we need to keep improving as a team.

“We’ve not got long left of the season now but let’s see where we can go. Then we can recover well in the summer and have a good start to next season.

“I think the fans, the media, everyone can see what he [Solskjaer] has done and how he wants to play since he came, and I think we’ve shown that in quite a few games.

“It’s positive and we’re looking forward.”

United find themselves back inside the Premier League’s top four at present and will remain in charge of a Champions League spot should they collect another win from a trip to Wolves on Tuesday.