Manchester United’s interim manager, Ole
Gunnar Solskjaer has said his team must return
to the attractive, attacking football that the club
was known for under Alex Ferguson’s 27 years
reign as manager.
According to Solskjaer, he will be judged on his
team’s playing style rather than trophies if he is
to land the job on a full-time basis.
Appointed as interim boss last month to replace
the sacked Jose Mourinho, Solskjaer has made
clear that he would love to stay at Old Trafford
beyond the end of this season, when his
temporary arrangement is set to expire.
The former United striker, on a managerial loan
from Norwegian club Molde, has not spoken to
executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward about a
However, he feels that the key to being seen as
a success is to return to the attractive, attacking
football that the club played for much of Alex
Ferguson’s near 27-year reign as manager.
Ferguson won 38 trophies before retiring in 2013
but his United team were also renowned for their
positive football, which many fans felt went
missing in the final year of Mourinho’s reign.
Solskjaer, when asked what would constitute
success and improve his chances of getting the
job permanently, said: “If we get to the summer
and people are talking about the way Manchester
United are playing.”
Solskjaer said he is keen to win trophies this
season but suggested that the style, for now,
was more important.
Solskjaer has won his first four matches at the
helm, including a 2-0 victory at Newcastle on
Wednesday, and hopes to extend that run when
Championship strugglers Reading visit Old
Trafford in the FA Cup on Saturday.
However, he expects there to be setbacks as he
attempts to improve United’s Premier League
position from sixth over the second half of the
One of Solskjaer’s priorities is to improve the
players’ fitness, something he plans to work on
when he takes his squad to Dubai for a warm-
weather training break after the Reading match.
The former United striker said that high-intensity
fitness training was a key part of United’s
success under Ferguson, allowing them to build
momentum late in the season when chasing
“If the style we’re playing, it
reminds us of Sir Alex’s team, if
it reminds us of the successful
times, then my chances are
improved,” he told the club’s
“It has to start with the way we
play because results you cannot
control. You can control how
you approach the game and
how you play.
“And of course, it’s about
trophies, if you can get to the
final of the FA Cup and get a
trophy. Let’s see in May if it’s a
success or not,” he said.
“When you win games of
football, you’re happy. There
will be tougher times coming,
there will be tougher games
coming up, we know that.”
“We can get fitter and we have
to do that through the training
sessions here, but Dubai is a
good chance because now is the
first time we get a week of work
together,” he said.
“I still have pictures in my mind
every January, the gaffer
(Ferguson) with the stopwatch
timing us – all of those runs,”
“That stood us in good stead
towards the end of the season,
so it is a time to work hard.
Even though we’ve got plenty of
games, we need to work.”