Manchester United legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer claims Louis van Gaal's "strong personality" was missing at Old Trafford last season under David Moyes' era.
The former Everton manager replaced Sir Alex Ferguson last summer after the latter guided the Red Devils to their 20th league title.
Last season was a disaster as per United standards as they finished seventh in the league table and were knocked out of the FA Cup in the early stages.
In addition to this, United failed to qualify for this season's Champions League after a disappointing spell under Moyes last season. The Scot was sacked just 10 months into his six-year contract and was replaced by Van Gaal earlier this summer.
"He's been a breath of fresh air," said the former United striker. The fans, the players needed a strong personality," Solskjaer told the Manchester Evening News.
"You see he's talking about winning the championship. I think that's the Man United mentality. We shouldn't talk about being third or fourth. We should talk about winning the league."
United have struggled under Van Gaal's guidance during the early stages of the season. However, the Red Devils have recovered winning the last six matches on the trot.
Their recent form has seen them sit third in the league table with 31 points from 16 games. United are five points behind second place Manchester City and trailing league leaders Chelsea by eight points.
Solskjaer scored the late winner for United in the 1999 Champions League final against Bayern Munich. The Norwegian says his former club can challenge Chelsea and City for the title.
"I've been here for too many years to say they can't. Be in the hunt in March, April and you never know. That's when everything gets decided," the former United striker concluded.
United have struggled with injuries this season and are now welcoming several key players back to the squad. They face Aston Villa in the league fixture at Old Trafford on Saturday and Van Gaal will be looking to extend his side's unbeaten run this weekend.