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Manchester United interim boss Ole Solskjaer vows to return smiles to the face of his players as he conducts his first interview ahead of Cardiff game

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists his first job as interim boss of Manchester United is to get his stars enjoying their football again.

The Norwegian has arrived on a six-month loan deal from Molde to replace Jose Mourinho after the Portuguese was sacked on Tuesday morning.

Mourinho’s tenure at Old Trafford came to be defined by his fallouts with some of the club’s big names, most notably Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial and Luke Shaw. 

And speaking to MUTV, Solskjaer admitted he needs to inject the feelgood factor back into his squad, and the club. 

‘It’s great. It feels like coming home. It’s been a few whirlwind days. It’s been very hectic. It’s great to see everyone again,’ he said in his first interview since his return.  

‘It’s six months, I’m going to enjoy the ride. I’m back home. It’s about seeing the players, seeing the staff and of course just being myself. 

‘I know the club is in the process of finding a new manager and I’m just going to be myself in the meantime. 

‘With me of course is (assistant coaches) Kieran (McKenna) and Michael (Carrick) and the rest of the staff. We just want to get the players enjoying football.’

During United’s difficult start to the season, Mourinho made a habit of calling out his players publicly.


Premier League unless stated

Saturday – Cardiff City (A)

Boxing Day – Huddersfield (H)

December 30 – Bournemouth (H)

January 2 – Newcastle (A)

January 5 – Reading (H)

FA Cup third round

January 13 – Tottenham (A) 

Players such as Pogba have been left out of the starting line-up in recent games, while it has been revealed that the former Chelsea manager did not speak to Shaw before leaving United after he complained of a back problem ahead of United’s win over Fulham on December 8.

However, Solskjaer insists that every player will start with a clean slate under his watch.

‘The amount of games coming up is no problem because you have got this squad, an amazing squad of players we have got,’ he said.

‘We have got 23, 24 players, they are all quality and they will all get a chance with the amount of games coming up and they will have a chance to show they are Manchester United players.  

Solskjaer picks up the job with United sixth in the table, 19 points behind leaders Liverpool and 11 off Chelsea in the fourth and final Champions League spot.

He has already experienced management in the Premier League with Cardiff City, an adventure that ended with relegation to the Championship.  

However, he has enjoyed success with Molde in his homeland. He has won two league titles, and insists that, as well as the teachings from his former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, has given him more than enough knowledge to take on the role. 

‘I think I have had about 300, 400 first team games now as a manager and at the reserves so yeah 10 years more or less,’ he said.

‘I have made a few mistakes through the years but I have won the league, I have won cups, I have been relegated, so I feel I’m getting to know the occupation.

‘I have to say I had the best teacher. The boss (Fergie) is and will always be the best at how you manage people so my management involves around what I learned from him. 

Solskjaer’s first game in charge will be against his former club Cardiff. It was with them back in 2014 that he stood in an Old Trafford technical area as boss, albeit the wrong one. 

Now, the 45-year-old says he cannot wait to be on the ‘right’ side. 

‘It is going to be very, very special I have to say,’ he added. 

‘I’m good at controlling emotions so I won’t be that emotional, but when I came back with Cardiff a few years ago in 2014, it was a strange, strange feeling. 

‘It was one of the most unrealistic ones I have ever had being on the other side, now I’m on the right side and I can’t wait for it.’ 

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