Ole Gunnar Solskjaer credited with changing culture at Man Utd

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It's about putting smiles on people's faces - Solskjaer

Resetting Manchester United's culture and bringing back discipline were key to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's permanent appointment as manager.

The Norwegian was originally seen as a stop-gap following Jose Mourinho's sacking, but agreed a three-year contract worth around £21m on Thursday.

The 46-year-old has been credited with a shift in mindset and restoring positivity at the club since his arrival in December.

This goes as far as being more popular with the media and insisting the players wear club suits and ties and interact with the fans on matchdays.

The former striker's impact since he returned to Old Trafford means he will be unaffected by any downturn in results for the remainder of the season, even if that means finishing outside the top four.

United have lost only once in 13 league games under Solskjaer and sit two points behind Arsenal, who occupy the final Champions League qualifying spot.

Solskjaer revealed former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was one of the first people he called on hearing of his permanent position.

And United insiders feel he knows what it takes to return the side to winning ways - embracing the drive and determination of Ferguson and former team-mates Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney.

It has been noted how Solskjaer instinctively behaves and speaks as United officials and fans expect their manager to do.

Solskjaer's return of 32 points from a possible 39 was beyond anybody's expectations at the club but it was the victory at Tottenham on 13 January when the man who won them the Champions League in 1999 switched from fleeting prospect to strong contender.

Since then, Solskjaer has embraced what United regard as their three pillars of success: winning through attacking football, with X-Factor players and giving youth a chance.

While United's hierarchy knew Solskjaer could deliver on attacking football and a commitment to youth, the fact he has managed the whole lot, with a squad that evidently needs restructuring, has come as a very pleasant surprise.

Even the way Solskjaer has reacted to defeat, describing the FA Cup reverse to Wolves earlier this month as the "worst performance" of his time in charge, has impressed United insiders.

Not that Solskjaer is thinking negatively before key league games against Watford at Old Trafford on Saturday (15:00 GMT) and Wolves at Molineux on Tuesday.

He said: "The last three months have been unbelievable for me. But we have to keep making progress because we are too far behind where we want to be. I know we will be successful but it is about taking it step by step."

And, despite their own loss, United's joy at Solskjaer's impact is being felt at Molde, who have let their manager leave in the best of circumstances.

The two clubs are expected to agree a money-spinning fixture on top of the agreed £500,000 compensation.

"We are happy and sad," said Molde chief executive Oystein Neerland.

"We are losing a very good man but we are happy for Ole and we wish him all the best for his years in Manchester."

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