Man Utd: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has not discussed permanent manager's role

'I want Man Utd players to be the kids that love playing football'

Interim Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he would love to remain manager but has not discussed taking the job on a permanent basis.

United appointed ex-striker Solskjaer until the end of the season after Jose Mourinho's sacking on Tuesday.

Solskjaer, 45, is contracted to return to his role as manager at Norwegian club Molde next summer.

"I understand there are so many managers that would love to be manager of Manchester United," he said.

"I am one of them, but it is not something we have talked about.

"I didn't think twice when they called me to sign me as a player and this is an honour and privilege to be helping the club for a few months."

The Norwegian takes over with United sixth in the Premier League, 11 points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea and 19 behind leaders Liverpool.

Asked if he wanted to finish in the top four, Solskjaer said: "I want to get the players to understand how I want to play as a team, then let's take the results after and see how many points we can gather.

"This club has made up many points before, but I am not going to set that target now."

Solskjaer said he will have an input during the January transfer window, but will first concentrate on getting to know the current squad.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his coaching staff
Solskjaer poses with coaches Emilio Alvarez, Michael Carrick, Mike Phelan and Kieran McKenna

"The club has the recruitment and scouting in place and I am sure they have their targets, but I have not sat down and talked about that because my job is to get them playing," he added.

'At Man Utd there are standards we set'

Mourinho's time at Manchester United was marred by rifts with first-team players, especially club record signing Paul Pogba, who was an unused substitute during Sunday's 3-1 defeat by Liverpool.

Solskjaer, who spent 11 seasons at Old Trafford as a player, says he learned much from his time under manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

"My job is to help the players and make them grasp the opportunity - they all want to be part of Man Utd," Solskjaer said.

"It's down to man-management. I have had the best man-manager. I learned how he dealt with people.

"It's about communication. Of course I will sit down and speak to the ones who are not playing.

"When you are at Man Utd there is set of demands and standards we set and one of those is to be a team player.

"I don't think anyone has been on the bench more than me! That's always my comeback to players - you never know, you might come on and make an impact and grab the opportunity when you get it."

Making notes under Sir Alex

Sir Alex Ferguson and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Ferguson signed Solskjaer as a player from Molde in 1996

Solskjaer scored 126 goals for United, including the winner in the 1999 Champions League final - and worked on the coaching staff for three years after his retirement as a player in 2006.

He said he began to take notes on Ferguson's management style when sidelined through injury.

Solskjaer, who has spoken to Ferguson since taking the job, said: "He's influenced me with everything - the way he's dealt with people, the way he was manager of the club, how he kept 25 international players happy and hungry, wanting to improve, but also the staff in and around the place.

"He's been my mentor but I didn't understand early on that he'd be my mentor. Ever since my injury in 2003 at least, I was making all the notes what he did at different, certain situations.

"Of course I have already been in touch with him, because there's no-one to get better advice from."

Learning from 'mistakes' at Cardiff

Solskjaer's first game in charge will be on Saturday against Cardiff, where he had an eight-month spell as manager in 2014 in which they were relegated from the Premier League.

Solskjaer is currently in his second spell as Molde manager, having led them to the Norwegian title in 2011 and 2012 during his first spell.

"I have had 300-400 games as a first-team manager," he said.

"The period at Cardiff was a huge step for me and I learned a lot. I have evaluated and reflected on it. Unfortunately, I made a few mistakes, but if you do not make mistakes you do not learn.

"And Cardiff are in the Premier League now so I don't think they're too unhappy about it."

'Stark contrast to Mourinho' - analysis

BBC Sport football reporter Simon Stone

There was something vaguely reassuring about Solskjaer's appearance in front of the media this morning.

He spoke in the same tones as Sir Alex Ferguson used to, talking about the pride he felt at representing Manchester United and why his players should feel the same.

The smile he broke into as he walked into the media room was in stark contrast to the expressionless manner in which Jose Mourinho made the same short journey a week before.

Solskjaer spent just over 20 minutes answering questions. The whole experience was more relaxed than it has been under Mourinho.

He didn't criticise anyone, he didn't complain. He underlined, time and again, how his job was to get the players to express themselves, to remember they are a team and belong to a club.

It was a very similar kind of news conference to the ones Ryan Giggs gave when he stood in for David Moyes after the Scot's dismissal almost five years ago.

Solskjaer was speaking to an audience, the one that pays to watch United at Old Trafford.

This is all very well. The problem is this is not Ferguson's United. This is the United who are 11 points off a top-four spot less than halfway through the season.

Solskjaer knows he has a major job on his hands just to halt the downward slide, let alone reverse it.

As first appearances go, this was a good one, but what happened on Friday doesn't really count. What happens at the Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday certainly does.


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