Tuesday 24 September 2019

Molde boss Ole Gunnar Solksjaer: I wish I'd played at Celtic during my career

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Ronnie Esplin

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists he feels "envious" of his Molde players who will get the chance to play at Celtic Park on Thursday night.

The former Manchester United striker played in top stadiums all over the world during an illustrious career and is best known for scoring the winner for the Red Devils against Bayern Munich in the 1999 Champions League final at the Nou Camp.

Solskjaer, 42, scored against Celtic in the Champions League at Old Trafford in September 2006 but it still rankles that he missed the return game in Glasgow two months later through injury, having to settle for visits to the stadium with former United team-mate Roy Keane, who latterly had a spell with the Hoops.

Speaking at Celtic Park ahead of the Europa League Group A clash with the Scottish champions, the Molde boss said: "It is a fantastic place to play football and I am sure all the boys are looking forward to it.

"I have only been here as a spectator before.

"I never had the chance to walk out to the pitch so in one way I am one way very envious of the players who will feel the atmosphere tomorrow night.

"I was here with Roy Keane to watch a couple of games and it is fantastic, it is like football should be.

"It was a Champions League game if I remember correctly - they never asked for tickets from Roy, they just opened the door so he could walk straight through.

"The atmosphere here could probably match the top clubs in the world like Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid.

"Celtic was always the team to go to when my team-mates had testimonial games, Roy for example.

"There was a fantastic atmosphere between the clubs and supporters and it is one of the stadiums I wished I had played in."

Solskjaer returned to manage Molde for the second time the day before the 3-1 victory over Ronny Deila's side at the Aker Stadion last month.

He said: "Celtic had the possession and dominated the game and we hit them on the break really well.

"The goals were top class but although 3-1 was a great result, the boys can perform better."

The win kept the Norwegian outfit top of the section on seven points, after a 3-1 win over Fenerbahce in Turkey and a 1-1 home draw with Ajax.

Ronny Deila's side are bottom with two points and the former Norway striker believes the Hoops' need to win will "probably" suit Molde's counter-attacking style.

He said "They have to get at us, they have to win the game.

"It will be a tough game but the boys have put themselves in a fantastic position.

"They have been great in the first three matches so I am sure they are looking forward to this one.

"Celtic need to win this one to have a chance to go through and sometimes it is a good position to be in. The players have to go out and try to win.

"My players can sample the atmosphere, enjoy it and they don't have the pressure in terms of we have to win the game.

"But if we win the game we are through so that is a great carrot for us."

PA Media

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