Sunday 15 September 2019

Giggs hails Solskjaer’s early impact at Manchester United

The Norwegian has overseen a fine start to the post-Jose Mourinho era.

Ryan Giggs has been impressed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s start to life back at Old Trafford (Martin Rickett/PA)
Ryan Giggs has been impressed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s start to life back at Old Trafford (Martin Rickett/PA)

By Simon Peach, Press Association Chief Football Writer

Manchester United great Ryan Giggs has hailed the impact of caretaker manager and his former team-mate Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The Norwegian has overseen a fine start to the post-Jose Mourinho era, having just last week been parachuted into the hotseat for the remainder of the season.

Solskjaer followed the 5-1 triumph at former club Cardiff – the first time United had netted five in a league match since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013 – with another comprehensive win against Huddersfield on Boxing Day.

Giggs, the club’s last caretaker manager, was among the star names in attendance for the 3-1 win and has been impressed by the immediate impact made by his former team-mate.

“Ole’s first home game and especially the positivity that came from the Cardiff game, the performance and the result, I think everyone was looking forward to the game,” the 45-year-old said.

“And the big players are turning up – (Paul) Pogba with the goals, David (De Gea) with a great save and Marcus (Rashford) just getting better and better each game.

“So, there’s a real positivity around the place, which we need that to carry on now going into the Bournemouth game.”

ipanews_e2476f80-f806-4d65-8369-63e8e12cf200_embedded240372830
Manchester United interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has got off to a flying start at Old Trafford (Martin Rickett/PA)

While few would consider beating Cardiff and Huddersfield as a true yardstick with which to measure true success and progress for a club like United, it has undoubtedly been a step in the right direction.

Solskjaer has released the shackles and made a striking impact in a short period, having only arrived from Norwegian club Molde last week.

The 45-year-old has barely stopped smiling since the confirmation of his temporary appointment as manager – the kind of role Giggs always felt the treble hero of 1999 would be suited to.

“Yeah, I did because he was always quietly confident, believed in his own ability – and even though people think he’s a nice guy, you know he’s got an edge to him, which you need as manager,” the United great said.

“As he got more experienced, especially when he had that injury and a bit of time out, it’s quite well-documented that he used to take notes of little things that Sir Alex would do.

“So, yeah, I believed that he would go into coaching and he’s doing a great job, obviously.”

Next comes Bournemouth’s visit to Old Trafford on Sunday as United look to dent the eight-point gap to the top four.

“Well, you’ve seen in a short space of time what’s happened with Liverpool and (Manchester) City,” Wales manager Giggs told MUTV.

“That can happen, and the good thing is there are a lot of games to go.

“But still you can’t get ahead of yourself.

“It’s a tough league you’ve seen today it wasn’t easy at times, but you can see what happens in football.

“We used to do it 10 or 12 points behind and also we were chased down at times, so as long as it is (a) mathematical (possibility) and you probably need to beat your rivals as well.

“So, a good run of games where you get your confidence up going into that Tottenham game, which will be important as well.”

PA Media

The Throw-In: Selection dilemma for Dublin and All-Ireland ladies football final preview

In association with Bord Gáis Energy

Also in Sport