Players not Pochettino should be Man Utd’s focus – Solskjaer
Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Manchester United’s caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists his side’s trip to Tottenham should be about the players and not his head-to-head battle with Mauricio Pochettino.
The Norwegian is currently in charge at Old Trafford until the end of the season, having replaced the sacked Jose Mourinho in December, a move designed to give the club’s board time to consider their options regarding a permanent replacement.
Solskjaer, who scored 126 goals in 366 appearances for United between 1996 and 2007, has made it clear that he would love to stay on as manager beyond this season, helping his cause by winning his first five matches in charge.
“It should always be about the players, because it’s not about me. It’s not about him,” said Solskjaer.
“We don’t kick a ball at all. They kick a ball. Of course, we might make a decision here or there, but it’s down to the players to perform and I’m sure my boys are ready.”
Solskjaer’s focus since arriving back at United has been on improving the players’ fitness levels and on building connections with his squad.
A warm-weather training trip to Dubai during the week was intended to help on both fronts, with his players put through a series of rigorous training exercises and Solskjaer taking the chance to speak to them on a one-to-one basis.
Solskjaer was at pains not to criticise the fitness work done by United under Mourinho, instead comparing the Dubai trip to the “mini pre-season” the squad used to go through each January at Old Trafford when he was a player under Alex Ferguson.
“We always used to do that with the boss (Ferguson) as well, come January. We had a mini pre-season and I think it’s important, when you’ve got a full week, that you do a proper training week.
“But looking at the stats in the five games since I came in, they’ve gone up. We do outsprint teams, we’ve produced higher intensity than the opposition in every single one of them.