Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he has been working towards becoming Manchester United manager since retiring as a player and has now fulfilled his “stupid or naive” dream.
Solskjaer was appointed on a three-year deal by United on Thursday following a successful spell in charge on a caretaker basis after Jose Mourinho’s December departure.
The Norwegian, who left Molde to return to the club he played for 366 times, won his first eight games in all competitions before inspiring an injury-hit United to the Champions League quarter-finals with a comeback win against Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain.
And Solskjaer can now start long-term planning for the job he says he has wanted ever since hanging up his boots as a player, with his goal to restore United to Europe’s elite.
“That’s the demand at United, the success,” Solskjaer said in an interview with United’s official app. “Striving to improve, winning trophies, that’s another challenge for us and we want to be up there challenging every season from now on.
“I wouldn’t have said yes if I wasn’t looking forward to it and if I didn’t believe in the club and in the potential in what we’re doing. I feel and I hope I can do this job justice. That’s the first thing I asked myself when I got the call a few months ago and hopefully now I can even improve on it.
“Very excited, of course. Every day is a challenge and a test. Of course we’ve got Watford on Saturday, we’ve got Wolves, they’re the best two of the rest this season, seventh and eighth, so short-term that’s my priority.
— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) March 28, 2019
“Then games coming up and the summer transfer window, improving the squad and talking to players about how we want to approach next season.
“Obviously I’ve been discussing with [executive vice-chairman] Ed [Woodward] and the club, my ideas for the future – now more or less it is my decisions to make.
“I’m looking forward to it. If you don’t look forward to working for this club then that’s wrong. And I can’t wait.
“We’ve spoken about it before but I’ve prepared, more or less, my whole adult life ever since I got my injury to be a manager somewhere. I’ve always been stupid or naive enough to dream about this job.”
5 – Managers with the most points from their opening 13 Premier League games at a single club:
Hiddink (Chelsea) – 34
Ancelotti (Chelsea) – 33
Scolari (Chelsea) – 32
Solskjaer (Manchester United) – 32
Mourinho (Chelsea) – 32
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 28, 2019
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