Monday, May 20, 2019

Solskjaer: If you can´t handle risk, you don´t belong at Manchester United

SoccerNews in English Championship 5 Feb 2019

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes he is the ideal manager for Manchester United as he understands the need for risky, attacking football.

The Red Devils have won nine and drawn one of their 10 matches in all competitions under the caretaker boss, who took over from Jose Mourinho in December.

Mourinho was often accused of implementing a negative style of play at Old Trafford, while Solskjaer, a fan favourite in his 11 years as a player at the club, has encouraged a return to a bolder approach.

United have scored 25 goals in Solskjaer’s 10 games in charge, as many as they managed in Mourinho’s final 17 matches, while players such as Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba, who combined for the winning goal at Leicester City on Sunday, have thrived.

And Solskjaer, who struggled at Cardiff City in his only previous spell as a manager in the Premier League, thinks only those who embrace United’s attacking philosophy are likely to succeed.

“It is easier here because I know what the DNA and identity of Manchester United is and what a Manchester United player is,” he told Sky Sports.

“It’s a winning identity. It’s a confident identity. We want to take risks. We want to go for the second, the third and the fourth goal because that’s just how we do things at Manchester United. If you can’t handle that then you are at the wrong club.”

Solskjaer admits it “wasn’t the right decision” to take over at Cardiff in 2014, when he failed to save the club from relegation to the Championship.

The former forward thinks he is better suited to managing a club like United, who are more accustomed to fighting at the top end of the table.

“This is a completely different club and situation to come into,” he said. “I know the culture and identity of the club and the playing style.

“Manchester United, of course, suits me a lot more than a club that struggles towards the bottom of the table. I wasn’t ready for that fight. I didn’t say I wasn’t ready for the Premier League. That’s different.

“My belief is to trust players and to trust them to play the right way. To try to dominate teams, to try to win games the right way. To play the way that we do now with Manchester United. I should have flipped that mentality into a different one at a team that struggles against relegation.

“Since [retiring in] 2007, I have watched the majority of games and, of course, I had my opinion on what’s been going right and what’s been going wrong [at United]. So, I think I was more prepared for this one.”

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