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Friday 20 September 2019

Solskjaer gives Manchester United players a clean slate to prove themselves

The Red Devils travel to the Norwegian’s former club Cardiff on Saturday.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is due to meet the media for the first time as Manchester United’s caretaker manager on Friday (Danny Lawson/PA)
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is due to meet the media for the first time as Manchester United’s caretaker manager on Friday (Danny Lawson/PA)

By Damian Spellman, Press Association Sport

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will meet the media for the first time on Friday morning after replacing Jose Mourinho at Manchester United.

The 45-year-old is due to speak to reporters at the club’s Carrington training headquarters at 8.30am ahead of Saturday’s Premier League trip to Cardiff, the club he managed for nine months in 2014.

He will do so having promised the players a chance to prove themselves all over again after some fell out of favour under Mourinho.

Jose Mourinho, left, dropped Paul Pogba, right, towards the end of his reign (John Walton/PA)

World Cup winner Paul Pogba, a £89.3million signing from Juventus, started only one of Mourinho’s last four games in charge and has looked a shadow of the player who played a key role in France’s triumph in Russia this summer, but he will be one of those hoping to show he can rediscover his best form under Solskjaer.

The Norwegian told MUTV: “Playing games is the best time of your life and the more games you get, the better it is. For me as a manager now, it’s great because you have to rotate, so you will get to see many players and they’ll get the chance.

“Everyone in the squad knows that ‘I’ve got a chance now’ because whatever has gone, whatever has happened has happened. Now it’s just about from here.

“Everyone starts with a clean slate and we want players to perform, and we’ll give them the chance.”

Mourinho’s two-and-a-half-year reign came to a close with United sitting in sixth place in the table, 19 points behind leaders Liverpool, and receiving criticism for the style of football they were playing.

Solskjaer, who enjoyed a stellar 11-year playing career at Old Trafford during which he scored the winner in the 1999 Champions League final, vowed to allow his players to express themselves after taking charge until the end of the season.

Asked if he had been able to run the rule over Cardiff during what he admitted had been a “whirlwind” few days, he said: “Of course, I have watched the Premier League, I have seen all the teams, so I have got a little bit of a view on them.

“But it’s not about the opposition, it’s about us. It’s about Manchester United, it’s about our players knowing what they can do.

“We want to see them express themselves, so my main focus, of course, will be on us, how we want the team to play, and then we will give them one or two details about the opposition.

“We have got 23, 24 players, they’re all quality and they’ll all get a chance now. With the amount of games coming up, they have got a chance to show that they are Manchester United players.”

PA Media

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