Ole Gunnar Solskjaer promised that Manchester United will not let rivals Manchester City “run away” with the Premier League title.
The two Manchester rivals occupy the top two spots in the league table, but there is a large points gap between them.
After drawing 1-1 with West Brom, United are now seven points behind City, who have a game in hand as well.
United would clearly have been hoping for a better outcome against relegation-threatened West Brom. However, they gave themselves work to do after conceding to Mbaye Diagne within 90 seconds.
Solskjaer admitted that United were prepared for a fast start from their opponents, and also played down complaints that the goal should have been ruled out for a foul.
He told Sky Sports: “It’s something we knew would happen from the kick-off – we knew they’d put us under pressure and put in a few throw-ins. They put a cross in and the boy finished well.
“As an ex-striker I’d say that was a goal. But in a recent game Harry [Maguire] got on top of a defender and that was no goal.
“It’s just clarity and consistency. I’m not saying that’s a foul.”
United eventually got back in the game when Bruno Fernandes volleyed in just before half-time.
Solskjaer admitted it was too late a stage for them to get going, though.
He added: “The goal we scored is the way we put pressure on them. We did get down the sides sometimes but didn’t have anybody to tap them in.
“One of these days we weren’t there where we should have been.
“We should play better but we gave ourselves a tough start. You have 90 minutes to make amends but we didn’t build that momentum until late in the first half.”
Solskjaer gives mixed messages on title race
In the end, it will be seen as two dropped points for United, who were top of the table not so long ago but have struggled for consistency since.
Solskjaer insists it was never the expectation to be in the title race, but even though the gap is increasing, he wants to stop City winning the league ahead of schedule.
He said: “I said we shouldn’t be talked about [in the title race]. A compliment for the boys we got into position we are now.
“We won’t let them [Manchester City] run away with it – we’re playing them soon. We’re not giving it away early – no we’re not.”