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Name Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Gender Male
Ethnic Norwegian
Job Norwegian Footballer
  Football Coach
Desc Before he was an unexpectedly high-achieving interim manager, he was one of the best strikers in the business. Few could have expected quite how successful the Norwegian would become at Old Trafford when he was signed on the cheap to provide backup to Eric Cantona and Andy Cole

Affiliation

Club as Coach Manchester United
  Molde
  Cardiff City
Club as Player Manchester United

Notes

Cardiff City His stint as manager can be consider fail
Molde Ole Gunnar Solskjaer work for seven years with Norway’s Molde

2015 11 10 Retrieve

[on David Beckham] No one had the right-footed set piece and crossing that David had, and he worked up and down that right hand line for, I don’t even know how many years he played for Man United! There was never a game where you felt, ‘come on, then, start working’

2015 11 28 Retrieve

[on Roy Keane] If I could pick one player in my team, I would always pick Roy Keane, in front of any other players I’ve played with. Keano had everything; he was a leader, a great player, and probably the best I ever played with

2015 12 30 Retrieve

[on Sir Alex Ferguson] I will never forget the loyalty he showed me. Everything I have learnt I have learnt from the boss

2018 12 22 Retrieve

[In all Solskjaer made four changes to the side that slipped to a 3-1 defeat to Liverpool. Jesse Lingard scored twice to seal victory after Marcus Rashford’s stunning free-kick, a deflected effort from Ander Herrera, and a fabulous team goal finished by Anthony Martial] I’m pleased with all of them - every single one of them - but of course it’s a threat. When you’ve got Martial and Jesse Lingard down either side, Rashford up top with Paul Pogba supporting them, it’s exhilarating to watch and as long as we keep that standard up we’ll keep up picking points

2018 12 22 Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on how he will manage squad rotation] No-one has been on the bench more than me

2019 01 26 Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Marcus Rashford can reach the same level as Wayne Rooney or Cristiano Ronaldo] Definitely, he can be absolutely top-class. He is only 21 but the maturity he is showing at times is more than 21

2019 03 30 Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer speaks after being announced as Manchester United’s permanent manager on a three-year contract] It’s about creating an environment everyone wants to be a part of, feeling like that they can be their best self. I just want to be the best ‘Ole’; that’s the only promise that I can give. It’s about giving everyone at the club a responsibility and a freedom to be the best themselves

2019 04 01 Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he is confident Pogba wishes to stay at United for the foreseeable future after Zinedine Zidane admitted he like Paul Pogba a lot] No, [those comments don’t] really concern me because my thought of action then is to sit down and speak to Paul and I’ve had my chat with Paul and we’re fine

He’s going to do his utmost here because he knows I’m very fond of him as a player and a person and he is important for us. There is no issue

I don’t like to talk about other teams’ players, of course, but this is another challenge with international breaks. Players are available all the time [to the media] as well and it’s a different environment, a general talk. Paul is a very nice and polite man who answered a general question about Zidane, who is an icon in France and a fantastic manager. He used to be a fantastic player and he’s just politely answered that question. But Paul’s happy here, he’s going to be a big part [here]. I’ve said before you like to build your team round him and that hasn’t changed at all

[United plan to appoint a technical director (a director of football in all but name) before the end of the summer and Solskjær said he will embrace this] Football has changed and the structure at football clubs has changed. Me and Ed Woodward [executive vice-chairman] and Joel Glazer [co-chairman], for that matter, are looking to how can this club be run as smoothly and as well as possible. I’ve got an input in most of the things now [he is the permanent coach] and, I’ve got to say, the communication between me, Ed and the owners is very good. We discuss different names, though of course I am not the one who decides

So we’ll see what the club will end up with and I’m happy discussing football with knowledgeable people in the right positions anyway. That’s the way football goes - a manager can’t do as much as he used to do when Sir Alex Ferguson started [in 1986]. I think the demands of football nowadays mean you’ve got to split responsibilities

[United travel to Wolves for Tuesday night’s 32nd Premier League game of the season and the Norwegian believes that, if his side can claim 15 points from the last available 21, then a Champions League berth can be attained] Everyone knows now, if we do our jobs, say 15 points then in the last seven games, we’ll be in the Champions League next year. I don’t think I have to remind them [the players] of that [what’s at stake]

2019 04 10 Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Messi will be difficult to stop but it’s never impossible] What kind of plan can you have to stop one of the best players in the world? As Chris Smalling says, we are looking forward to it, we relish the opportunity but this season, we have played against Juventus with Ronaldo, PSG with Mbappe, we’ve had Chelsea and [Eden] Hazard

[Messi] is a fantastic player. And he will go down in history as one of the best individual players ever. I have to say - he will be difficult to stop but it’s never impossible. It’s not like it is Messi against Manchester United. [Luis] Suarez, [Philippe] Coutinho, [Ivan] Rakitic, [Arturo] Vidal, there are so many players we cannot just focus on one player. We know we have to play against 11 of them

2019 05 12 Retrieve

[Teenage superstar Greenwood offers Man Utd light at the end of the tunnel] In midfield, up front, we have got loads of goals in our team. We’ve got youngsters coming through.

Hopefully, we can see Mason before the end of the season, not now, as he’s injured, but hopefully in the last game against Cardiff he will get his injury sorted and he will be ready

2019 07 20 Retrieve

[Manchester United centre-back Victor Lindelof suffered a suspected thigh injury during the Red Devils’ pre-season fixture against Inter] We don’t know yet but [Lindelof and Tahith Chong] should be OK. Victor, we’ll have to assess him tomorrow but Tahith will be fine. It’s just a knock. I don’t blame the defenders for trying to stop him

[Results at this stage count for little, with pre-season all about working on sharpness and trying to iron out any faults] I think we got what we asked for. The conditions were tough but I thought it was excellent with some pressing. In the first half, I thought we pressed really well and won the ball it was just that final little bit was missing. Of course, in the second half, we got a goal

2019 08 05 Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Roy Keane are close] I keep in touch with Roy and have been at his house for a cup of tea. I always listen to Roy and his opinions. I value them very highly. I know Roy did an interview saying there are many people that claim to be his friends. But I feel we are quite close. We have become friends. He was a fantastic leader. I loved having him as captain

2019 09 18 Retrieve

[Victor Lindelof has flourished during Solskjaer’s reign so far] Victor has established himself here and has become a very important part of our team. He brings calmness on the pitch and I can see that he is determined to help this club and to be successful here. I’m extremely happy that he has committed his future to Manchester United. We’re all looking forward to working together to deliver the success and get United back to where we know the club belongs

2019 09 18b Retrieve

[Daniel James out of Man Utd’s Europa League opener against Astana] He got a knock against Leicester so he won’t be available. We’re getting some back and losing some, so that’s just the way it is.

[James, who almost joined Leeds United in January, has shone since moving to Manchester from Swansea City, scoring three Premier League goals] Delighted with Dan. That we signed him, that we managed to get him to Manchester is fantastic. He’s proven with his X-factor already that he will give this squad a lot. I know he was very close [to Leeds], but that’s football. Sometimes you have to take a chance and sometime life works in different ways, in strange ways. He’s started really well here

[Axel Tuanzebe, Mason Greenwood and Fred are also set to be given opportunities from the outset] It’s not set in stone that this tournament is just going to be youngsters. They might play in the league. The experienced ones might play in the Europa League. Those are decisions we have to make at the time

2019 10 20 Retrieve

[Solskjaer believes, despite the gulf between the clubs and their teams’ performances on the pitch this season, his side will have a fighting chance against the high-flying Reds.] Sometimes we’ve struggled more in games where we’ve had to break teams down. I can’t see Liverpool coming to park the bus – that’s just not in their mentality. So I can see it being an open game, which will suit us

2019 10 27 Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer joked that Marcus Rashford ‘did the honourable thing’ by missing a penalty in Man Utd’s clash with Norwich] The first one I don’t think is a penalty, if it takes two minutes it’s not clear and obvious. But Marcus [Rashford] did the honourable thing and missed it. … They all score penalties, except when it comes to the ones that matter

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was still pleased with Marcus Rashford’s contribution, and singled out one moment in particular which enthused him] Delighted with the whole team, but to just see Marcus Rashford chasing the ball down with Max Aarons in a 50-yard sprint and just tackle in front of a dugout is the best response you can ask from a player

2019 10 30 Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer explains why he put faith in youth such as Marcus Rashford] Today we were excellent, with fast-flowing football. That’s Manchester United. We’re trying to get back to that. When you give young lads the experience, like Brandon Williams got tonight – and the kid was outstanding – it’s only going to help them. We know we’re not the finished product, we’re a work in progress, but we keep trying to improve

2019 11 28 Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says some of Manchester United’s youngsters who played in the 2-1 defeat at Astana are knocking on the door of the first team] I think some of these might benefit from going out on loan. Of course, they need men’s football and it was a first taste of it for some of them. Some of them are also knocking on the door for us

You can see the way we dominated midfield, with Jimmy Garner and Dylan Levitt playing together. Di’Shon Bernard was composed, Ethan Laird was marauding down the right-hand side, particularly in the first half. Some of these have done themselves a good favour

The group have travelled together and played together - it’s a very, very tight-knit group. It’s been excellent - the training yesterday, the lead-up to the game, the travel and everything. I’m just sorry they couldn’t go away from here with the win, because I thought they deserved to win the game

2019 12 04 Retrieve

[Solskjaer confirms Man Utd will be without Anthony Martial for a ‘little while’ due to muscle injury] Anthony has got a slight injury on Sunday, so he will be out for a little while

[Solskjaer is confident that Mason Greenwood can fill the void left in United’s line-up] That is what he has been hoping for, working hard for. Taking his chances in the Europa League, Carabao Cup, he has been taking his chances really well. I’m sure he is ready. I can see him creating chances and giving them trouble. Hopefully, he will get his goal, because he is a goalscorer

2019 12 04b Retrieve

[Solskjaer hails Man Utd striker after double in Spurs win] It’s the best [performance] Marcus Rashford’s had under me. He was mature, strong against good Premier League players. His penalty was calm and composed, and his [first] goal, we know he’s got those strikes in him and he had three or four chances. It’s like he was back on the playground or in the back garden. We want them to have fun, there’s nothing dangerous out there - just 75,00 people, wanting to see the best [of them]

[Solskjaer added on a vital win marking the start of a rebuilding period for his squad] You are always happy when you win. The boys are learning and improving all the time but tonight we were fantastic for long, long spells. The three points are massive for us. We’ve had too many draws this season and given too many points away from winning positions. It’s a great lesson in the last two games [Sheffield United and Aston Villa] and we came back in a great manner. We’ve started the rebuilding. We’ve made decisions that we had to and we’re looking to build this club to be better again and I can’t think short-term when I’m trying to do that. When we turn the corner and win three or four games on the run, they will get that Man Utd feeling again

2019 12 05 Retrieve

[Solskjaer’s big McTominay praise after Tottenham win] We can almost say he’s undroppable at the moment, definitely. There’s no chance I wasn’t going to try and push him through for this game. The physical presence and leadership he gives us in midfield also releases Fred. I thought Fred was excellent today, the one chance they had he blocked. I thought Fred was top class and they’re a good partnership. [McTominay] trained yesterday and that was just a light session with the reserves but he’s a tough boy. There’s no chance he’s going to say ‘no thanks’ if he felt okay. It’s the first time I’ve really pushed on players who haven’t had the foundation but he’s so fit anyway

The boy is 22 and today he played like he was in a back yard or garden, a playground with his mates. He’s just enjoyed himself. Sometimes maybe the expectations and pressure on him … we do expect a lot from him because he’s showed it so many times. We want them to enjoy themselves, we want them to go out there and face players, take them on with no fear of losing it. I love to watch that and that’s what the Stretford End loves to watch. Man United fans love to watch wingers or forwards play with courage

2019 12 05b Retrieve

[McTominay’s admiration for Solskjaer has been reciprocated, with the United boss having said of a home-grown talent after seeing him slot straight back in after injury against Spurs] McTominay’s so professional, he’s not tainted by any superstardom or fame, he just wants to become the best footballer he can be. They’re the people I want in this club. He would have suited the squad when I played. He’d fit right in that squad because he’s come through the Academy. He’s one of ours and he knows what Man United needs

2019 12 06 Retrieve

[Man Utd hoping to have Pogba back for New Year as Martial comes into derby contention] We hope to have Anthony Martial definitely for part of the game, not sure if he’s able to start, Paul won’t be, no. As soon as possible, he’s out on the grass training, I said in 2019 so hopefully before the New Year

[Quizzed on whether Marcus Rashford can become a prolific presence] He is doing that at the moment and how he didn’t get the goal against Villa is beyond me. He’s consistently now scoring 10 in the last 11 or whatever, but it’s not like four in one and two or three without, it’s not just in spurts, but he’s consistently getting chances and into better positions, and on Wednesday night he was unbelievable and we hope to see that again

Confidence is a strange thing in football, you can get performances and results like Wednesday night and it boosts it so much and I know our boys will be up for it. Energy-wise should be fine, 24 hours less recovery time shouldn’t matter, go on adrenaline. Yesterday [Thursday] was a recovery day, they were tired, today’s another preparation day, still haven’t had that session. I expect them to have had a good night’s sleep and the smiles are back on faces

2019 12 06b Retrieve

[Asked for his take on the Manchester derby] At least we play every year now! It took many years before I played a Manchester derby myself. It’s changed in a way, Manchester City are a better team now than when I was playing. Football has changed quite a lot, you were allowed a few more proper tackles with every little angle, everything being scrutinised now. It’s more of a technical, tactical game than physical and mental. A derby should be played as a derby, we don’t play basketball and we’re ready if that happens

We’re going away against arguably the best team in England. Difficult game but we need consistency. I said it before this is a chance for everyone. There was doom and gloom but it’s a chance to turn that doubt into belief and for us, if we can manage to get another performance the confidence, the way we played against Tottenham, if we can do that at the Etihad we can come out of it with a result. People say ‘why do you not have better results in other games’ but the Premier League is hard, no matter who you play, it’s margins. I think it’s a compliment to the league, you’ve got City, Liverpool, Leicester consistent but the other games are really tight

2019 12 06c Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says the ‘Black Friday’ headline from Corriere dello Sport on Thursday is the ‘worst front page I’ve ever seen’ after confirming he expects Chris Smalling to return to Manchester United] First of all, when you see that paper you say ‘wow, is that really possible?’. It’s the worst front page I’ve ever seen and we’ve been in touch with Chris just so he knows we’ll back him – and Romelu Lukaku as well. I don’t work in your line of business (journalism) but, wow, it’s incredible. That has to be stamped out. Chris has been fantastic. We know sometimes if you change environment it can go either way but Chris is the type to relish these challenges. He’s cultured, he enjoys life down there and it’s a new experience for him. He’s a boy who couldn’t be here without being a regular and we’re so happy for him because we can see the top player that he is

[Questioned on whether Smalling would return to Old Trafford someday, despite now being 30 years old] Yes

2019 12 06d Retrieve

[Solskjaer: Manchester United are still a bigger club than Man City] Yeah. With the size of our club, we’re going to have to bridge that gap, and our aim is to go past the teams above us. I believe that’s what we have to aim for, that’s we have to go for and that’s what we have to believe in, because we do have the resources to do it, we do have the people to do it, so why not? As long as we’re going in the right direction and we get there, that day when we do is going to be a very good day

[The Norwegian also rejected the school of thought that Man City’s spending power means that they will simply dwarf United in that regard] I don’t agree. What are you going to do? Are you going to give up? Not challenge them? That’s what we’ve got to get back to

2019 12 07 Retrieve

[Solskjaer eager for Man Utd star to return] Paul Pogba is going to play when he gets his fitness. He’s one of the best players in the world when he’s in form and we just need to give him time to be 100 per cent fit. It might be 45 minutes in the first game, it might be half an hour, it might be 90. It depends on what game he comes back in and I’m looking back to get Paul back to where I had him about a year ago

[United will be buoyed after beating Tottenham 2-1 at Old Trafford] It’s a chance for us to challenge them and bridge that gap a little bit, so we’re going there to win. We’re going there to get a result, even though we know it’s going to be difficult

[Solskjaer hopes his team are still considered underdogs when they line up at the Etihad Stadium] I don’t want to put any feelings into any other teams or managers. We might not want them to be scared of us. We want them to be arrogant and confident. As a player, you don’t have to shout the loudest to throw the sucker punch. So it’s not about shouting the loudest, it’s about doing the talking on the pitch

2019 12 07b Retrieve

[United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he was aware of the racist monkey taunt incident, branding it as unacceptable] I’ve seen it on the video, it was Jesse and Fred and the fella must be ashamed of himself. It’s unacceptable and I hope he will not be watching any football any more

2019 12 07c Retrieve

[Solskjaer praises Man Utd for beating ‘arguably the best team in the world’ in City] We’ll remember this one, we looked so dangerous when we got the ball and went forward against arguably the best team in the world. It’s hard to take the ball off them. They can football teams to death but with the pace and threat we have, we look dangerous every time we go forward. It does not matter where you win the ball it’s that you are positive when you get it

They are an unbelievable team and to get a result and defend like we did and create as many chances…we should have been three or four up but for some good goalkeeping. The team shape was spot on, but individually they had to dig deep against some of the best players in the world. That’s part of the game. It was a memorable night for Aaron Wan Bissaka who has been unbelievable since coming to club. You defend so well but you are disappointed that you concede on a corner, which is not their strength but I can’t complain too much. David de Gea is the best goalkeeper in the world. We’ve expected high standards off him and he is getting back to his best

2019 12 07d Retrieve

[Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on how the Manchester derby has changed since he was a player] At least we play every year now. [It] took many years before I played a Manchester derby myself [in 2001].

2019 12 07e Retrieve

[q: First contact with Manchester United?] I performed a recreation for Norway in opposition to Azerbaijan and I scored two respectable objectives. The scout was there watching Ronny Johnsen and it was a kind of fortunate conditions. The scout rang the gaffer [Sir Alex Ferguson] and mentioned I used to be there and that there was nothing to lose

The membership made contact by means of my agent and I flew over to Previous Trafford and I had lunch with Sir Alex, we had fish and chips if I bear in mind rightly

He instructed me that I’d have six months within the reserves and that there was loads of time and he would watch for me. I do not suppose he had time to look at me, it was a really fast determination that needed to be made as a result of there have been a couple of different golf equipment floating round. However when United got here, I mentioned sure right away

[q: First day in coaching?] I used to be nervous, very nervous going into the coaching floor. Nicky Butt was the primary participant I met, and he took me all the way down to the dressing room. I quickly realised that they had been all simply regular boys, regular boys that performed soccer higher than the typical man

I practiced my French in preparation for saying whats up to Eric Cantona however he was late that day, so I wasn’t launched to him earlier than the session

I by no means managed to do a correct introduction, however he accepted me there after which as a result of I had an honest coaching session. We bonded rather well, me and Eric

[q: First Manchester United look?] I performed for the reserves on a Friday evening at Boundary Park in opposition to Oldham, we received 3-1 and I scored two objectives. It was the identical evening as the primary staff performed in opposition to Everton, they drew 2-2. That was my first look, however my first for the primary staff got here the next weekend in opposition to Blackburn

I got here on as a result of we had been trailing and wanted to attain objectives, and I did. Jordi Cruyff flicked the ball on, I volleyed it in direction of purpose – it wasn’t one of the best volley – Tim Flowers saved it and I scored the rebound. It was six minutes after I got here on, I circled and the primary one celebrating was Cantona. That was a surreal second

[q: First-day nerves?] The one place I really feel at house is on the pitch, I used to be not nervous in any way. I do know I can rating objectives, I nonetheless do! That was my power. There was nothing higher than eliminating a ball as rapidly as you’ll be able to into the online

[q: First trophy at Manchester United?] We received the Premier League in my first season and that was the primary trophy I received as a participant. That was unbelievable. We received it by not taking part in, I feel Liverpool drew with Wimbledon, after which it was celebration time

While you get the style for it you simply need extra. It may go each methods, although, I’ve seen gamers win it after which swap off. It was an unbelievable feeling however for the boys it was simply regular, they had been used to profitable whereas I wasn’t

The supervisor at all times made positive we had a correct celebration the place you have a good time and get it over and carried out with

[q: First Manchester derby?] I actually can not bear in mind. After I got here, Manchester Metropolis weren’t within the Premier League and it took a couple of years for them to come back up. I bear in mind in 1999, once we received the Treble, they received promoted into what’s now the Championship

I haven’t got too many good reminiscences of taking part in in opposition to Metropolis in derbies. I bear in mind shedding the final one at Maine Street, I scored however we misplaced 3-1. I did not rating in a win in opposition to Manchester Metropolis

I really scored in opposition to Peter Schmeichel, who ought to have by no means have performed for Metropolis anyway. That is one other story

[q: …] Butterflies, undoubtedly. I used to be so proud, very proud. I had been away from the membership for eight years. I had coached a couple of of the gamers however lots of them I had watched from afar and admired

You understand you’ll be able to solely stay off your repute for a sure period of time, it’s important to go in and make an influence and ensure you arrive assured, as a result of that is what the squad wanted. Deep inside I used to be a bit nervous, nevertheless it went OK

The primary couple of days had been surreal. I knew everybody having performed and coached on the membership and it was nearly selecting everybody up, as a result of it wasn’t a cheerful place

While you lose a supervisor it is by no means going to be straightforward for anybody, I needed to are available and make a optimistic influence and we began properly. We have got good gamers and it was about letting them categorical themselves

2019 12 08 Retrieve

[Solskjaer looking for Man Utd to improve performances against lesser teams] If it’s a mental thing, then we can sort it out. We’ll work with the mentality of the boys. For me, it’s been very much about margins in those games. Some freak results that we can’t control. But if you look behind the results I’m not as negative as you are. I’m not so worried, so concerned. If the boys are then telling me they can’t get up for these games – then we’ve got a problem. Then I’ve really got to work with them because, when I played, that’s how we won the league. We never gave points away against the lesser teams, the not-so-good teams. The Premier League is difficult – if you don’t have that mentality you won’t get results. I’ll work on the mentality. We’ve had chances in every single game. There are so many games I could go through that we should have won. We know that we have to get better results against teams that drop deeper. We’ll improve on that

We know we can play quick, attacking football when we get the shape right. The attitude was spot on and every time we had the ball it seemed like could carve them open. It doesn’t matter if it was two passes or four passes or 10. The first half was attacking football as it should be played. The quality of our attacking - how quick we go from one end to the other and the intent of going forward. It’s not like we win the ball and the boys want to slow it down to have a rest. No. The goal is that way and we go that way

You’ve got to earn the right to win. Sometimes you’ve got to earn it by passing quicker, winning the ball back - there are different ways of winning games of football

2019 12 08b Retrieve

[Man Utd boss Solskjaer happy to see Lingard back to his best after trying spell] Every one of us have things to deal with on the pitch and off the pitch and what he has had to deal with, that will be between us. It’s great to see him back. He’s Man United through and through. He’s a Red, he’s got a great attitude and a great work rate

You can criticise anyone about anything, that’s the privilege some people think they have. For me as a manager, I have to look after these boys in the good and the bad times. It’s great to work with him. I had him in the reserves, I gave him his debut in the reserves against Burnley. It’s good to see him back to his old self

2019 12 10 Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Marcus Rashford has the potential to reach the level of superstar Cristiano Ronaldo if he continues developing and improving] It’s very easy to compare the two of them, yeah. Both with skills, body shape, attitude, attributes - everything. The boy [Rashford] has every chance in the world to become a top, top player. Let’s hope he continues like this. I don’t want to talk about the amount of goals. As long as he keeps being positive and being direct and thinking about getting in front of the goal and getting chances, he’ll score goals

2019 12 11 Retrieve

[Solskjaer provides update on Phil Jones’s Man Utd future after leaving defender out of last four matchday squads] Phil’s fit, training well, training hard and I’m sure he’ll come back […] Phil’s fine

[Solskjaer says consistency will be needed to start challenging for major honours once again] Of course consistency is vital if you want to win trophies. This young team need to learn how to put in performances when they don’t feel great. You don’t feel great every time you go on the pitch. We’ve had some games when we’ve not been able to perform as well as we like but that’s a learning curve and the young boys will improve over the next couple of years and hopefully the rest of the season. We’ve come through a sticky patch in terms of injuries and form

2019 12 11b Retrieve

[Solskjaer delivers Paul Pogba injury update & confirms Nemanja Matic return] It’s too early. We hope so [that he will return in 2019]. He’s working hard to get fit so hopefully we can get him back on the pitch. Let’s get Paul fit first and then back in form and he’ll play loads of games. He’s one of the best players in the world and we’re looking forward to having him back

Nemanja Matic’s fit. He’s due to be involved

Fred’s had the confidence of the coaching staff and me and the players all the time. This form is down to him because he’s been working really hard. When he got the chance with Paul injured he grabbed it with both feet and we’re really happy to see him perform at this level

Inside [the club], we’ve always had belief in what we’re doing. It might change on the outside but it’s results, you can’t change that. It’s the nature of football. Sometimes, you’ve got the margins on your side. I think the decision we made to send the young players to Astana made sure the players who stayed here were more ready because it was a hard week. Results are always the proof in the end, but we’ve always believed in what we’re doing it. It’s going to be ups and downs, but we’re on the right track. I see these boys every day in training, the attitude and skills they have got, so I’m not that worried

[Solskjaer insists he wants to beat AZ] Of course I’m bothered [about the result]. I’m not going to send the boys out and say, ‘I don’t care if you win or lose’. Every game you play for Man United is a chance to prove yourself and to me and the supporters that you deserve to be part of the team for a long time

2019 12 11c Retrieve

[Solskjaer convinced Europe’s top players still want to join Man Utd’s rebuild project] You said agents, but I’m sure players would want to be here. I don’t speak to too many agents. Man United is the biggest and best club in the world and I’m sure there are so many players who would want to be part of the rebuild of Man United. We want to play the type of football our fans and players enjoy

Consistency is vital in football if you want to win trophies. This young team need to learn how to put performances in maybe when they don’t feel like it, when they don’t feel great. We’ve had some games this year where we’ve not been able to perform as well as we’d like, but that’s a learning curve. I’m sure they’ll improve on that over the next couple of years and the rest of the season because we’ve come through a sticky patch

2019 12 11d Retrieve

[Solskjaer’s Ferguson tribute act will only take Man Utd so far] Pace and power, Man United, that’s what we are. When we have players like we have with pace… that’s how we played with Andy (Cole), Dwight Yorke, Ryan Giggs, and Becks down the sides. We attack quickly when you can. That’s my philosophy as well

2019 12 12 Retrieve

[Solskjaer intends to keep ‘path’ open at Man Utd after seeing Mason Greenwood and Brandon Williams flourish] There is always a path at Man United, if you’re good enough you’ll get your chances. If you train hard enough and you do well in your [youth] teams you’ll get a chance. There will be loads of boys who have been playing with Mason and Brandon over the years and they’ll be looking at them thinking ‘well if they can do it, why can’t I?’. You just have to keep going and that’s what we want. We want to show the youngsters that there is a way to get through [to the first team] but you’ve got to earn it

[Solskjaer added headed into a run of games which will see his side figure in Europa League, Premier League and Carabao Cup fixtures] They’re all competitions we still want to improve in of course. We have the quarter-final [against Colchester in the League Cup] next week which is a big game, we have this game on Thursday and the league is something we have to keep on going in. It’s great being back home at Old Trafford. We had four away games on the bounce in October and November, now we have three home games so we’ll make sure we enjoy them

2019 12 12b Retrieve

[Aged just 18 years and 72 days, Mason Greenwood has become the youngest Manchester United player to score a brace for the club in a major European competition] There is always a path at Man United, if you’re good enough you’ll get your chances. If you train hard enough and you do well in your [youth] teams you’ll get a chance. There will be loads of boys who have been playing with Mason and Brandon [Williams] over the years and they’ll be looking at them thinking, ‘Well if they can do it, why can’t I?’. You just have to keep going and that’s what we want. We want to show the youngsters that there is a way to get through [to the first team] but you’ve got to earn it

2019 12 12c Retrieve

[Man Utd boss Solskjaer wary over Mason Greenwood and Wayne Rooney comparison] He’s different class as a finisher and around the box you expect him to get a shot off and on target. He’s so precise in his finishing. He’s good how he creates space for himself

No, no, no. He’s a different type of player, Mason than Wazza, but he must have enjoyed tonight. The thing is with Mason, he’s just going to look forward to Sunday tomorrow – he’s not going to rest on his laurels

It’s very good. A lot of things can change in a week, but for us we just want games coming. It’s a good group. I’m looking forward to seeing how this December goes because they’re growing into a good group

2019 12 13 Retrieve

[Solskjaer: Man Utd need ‘two or three’ new signings] We’re looking to strengthen in many positions. If you look at our squad compared to others we’re getting there, but need two or three players to have a squad with enough numbers to rotate throughout a long season and we’ll see what we sign

[Speaking about Mason Greenwood, who is the team’s top scorer in Europe this season with five goals, Solskjaer was full of praise] I’ve probably said it all before. It’s nothing new - that’s what he does and tomorrow he will probably go into training and score a few more. He has always done it. That is just natural for him. He is a natural footballer. The closer he gets to goal the more dangerous he is. Right foot, left foot, he is a nightmare for defenders. He needs to develop his heading. Then he can be a proper striker. I’ve seen a few good ones – I played with Wazza [Wayne Rooney]. But for natural finishing he’s one of the best I’ve seen. He’s a different class as a finisher - in and around box you expect him to get a shot off and on target. He is so precise with his finishing. Mason must have enjoyed tonight. He’s just going to look forward to Sunday now, but he won’t rest on laurels

2019 12 13b Retrieve

[No longer a joke: Reborn Fred the symbol of new, more confident Man Utd] Arguably man of the match today. He took the ball, he’s playing against Kevin De Bruyne, probably the best player in the league and I thought he was excellent. It’s great to see it, the boy deserves it. But when you get a run, and keep the team together, Scott and Fred have made a great partnership

2019 12 13c Retrieve

[Solskjaer eager to banish memories of Man Utd’s drubbing at Everton] We lost quite clearly against Everton last season. We’ve spoken enough about what happened that day and how we looked like a team. It was more or less a shambles, but I’ve said too many times this year as well, we’re not that group anymore. This is a different group, a group that’s ready for the fight and is ready for the football. Mentality sometimes is strange to explain. The mood is the camp is different, definitely. The group is going in the right direction now. They’ve got a chance every single day in training. There won’t be any leeway. You don’t play here if you don’t want to go in the same direction as the majority of the group or the whole group. If you’re the one or two odd men out, you’d probably know

[When asked if United’s chances of finishing in the top four no longer sound ridiculous] It’s never been ridiculous! It’s never ridiculous in October or November. This club has never ever won the league by then. We’re not talking about winning the league now, but I’ve said all along this group needs time. We need to develop as a group and a team – and we are going to because they have the right attitude. I don’t think about it in December, not at all. There are too many games in December, January, February, March, April. You can’t start looking at the result and outcome. We just need to keep doing what we’re doing, keep developing this team, keep sticking to what we believe in, improving day by day. I believe then that the results will come

2019 12 14 Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer compared Manchester United’s current strike force to the combination of Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez as he hailed the versatility of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Daniel James] I think that’s a big strength of ours as a team. If Marcus runs in behind, Anthony will get some space because it stretches the opponent. It can be the opposite way around too, with Anthony and Dan running in behind and Marcus coming to feet to get on the ball. I see this attack as being quite similar to the one we had with Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez, with the interchanging of positions and the fast, flowing football

Of course it’s hard to say with certainty that he’s going to be as good as Cristiano, but you can see the similarities more and more in terms of Marcus’ traits on the pitch. He can play through the middle, he can play as a number nine, he can cut inside from the left and finish. He can even play on the right, as Cristiano did when he came here. He’s got the same physical stature and more or less all of his attributes are very, very similar. Even their stats are similar, in terms of goals scored after a certain amount of games

You have to remember that, as well as playing with Cristiano, I coached him in my first year as a forwards coach here. Both players are very professional, very dedicated, very in love with football. And you can see that Marcus is getting more of a taste for that now, both with us and with England. He is pushing himself and seeing the results

2019 12 15 Retrieve

[Solskjaer: I always knew I could manage Man Utd] I always had the belief that I could manage this club. I wouldn’t have taken the job if I had felt I couldn’t do it because I owe Manchester United honesty. Football wise, I think I can hold my own when it comes to tactics and stuff, but I have a great staff to help me. It’s not all about me. I’m so glad I’ve got Michael Carrick, Mike Phelan and Kieran McKenna and I think I make them feel that I can do the job here and that’s happening. That’s why I was never afraid of not being able to handle this. I always knew I could. It’s about treating people the right way and, for me, managing United is treating the staff, the players, anyone the same. It doesn’t matter which club I’m at, that’s just my personality

2019 12 15b Retrieve

[Solskjaer says Haaland ‘knows what he wants to do’ as Man Utd transfer rumours swirl] I don’t comment on those speculations. [Haaland] knows what he wants to do, and he knows what he’s going to do, so I don’t have to give any advice to any other team’s players

2019 12 15c Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer claims there was a clear foul on David de Gea in the build-up to Everton’s goal in a 1-1 draw with Manchester United] We’re disappointed we didn’t get three points. We didn’t have the ideas to win it towards the end. We kept them on the back foot and if any team was going to win it it was us. We came back after the disappointment at half time. You shouldn’t concede goals like this at set plays. But it’s a foul. There’s no point me complaining but his arms are over David’s shoulders as he was going to punch it.

2019 12 15d Retrieve

[Manchester United academy graduate Mason Greenwood salvaged a point for his team against Everton, earing the praise of his manager] Mason Greenwood is different class in and around the box. You’re not surprised when he scores goals. It’s fitting that it should be an academy player that scores in the 4000th match, and it makes me hard to leave him out. He knows where the goal is and just has the knack. I need to give him more game time. We have found just the right moment for him now, he is stepping up. We’ve always had the DNA, with added players from other top clubs, and that will always be the philosophy here

2019 12 15e Retrieve

[Manchester United face Everton on Sunday with the chance to win three consecutive Premier League games for the first time this season] The intent was there to go forward, every time we had the ball it’s not about keeping it or slowing it down, we go for the kill and should have been three or 4-0 up

2019 12 17 Retrieve

[Solskjaer sees silverware benefits for Man Utd & wants ‘major’ success in Carabao Cup] Any player or any team - and, for us, it’s a new team now that we are building - would benefit from winning a trophy or getting to a final. Of course, winning it is major. Now we’ve got a chance to get into the semi-finals and, for us, this game is a big one. It’s massive for a player to win his first trophy, no matter which one it is. I remember when Patrice Evra and Nemanja Vidic won their first trophy - I think it was against Wigan in the final.

Of course, they got that feeling and, when you get that feeling of winning, it’s something you want more and more of. In this group, we have a few players who have won the championship, but there are less and less of them. So, for us, it would be fantastic. There should be a sense of excitement. The prize now is to get to the semi-final and then you’re not too far away. So, the motivation and the attitude will be right on Wednesday

I think we showed that by the team we put out against Chelsea, that we take it seriously. Even though we were in a difficult spell in the league, it was still important for us to create that momentum and the belief in the players. So we’re hoping to get to the final.

2019 12 17b Retrieve

[Solskjaer told reporters when offering his latest update on Paul Pogba’s condition] He’s been struck down ill. He’s been off two days, which is not beneficial. It’s probably set him back quite a bit. It’s games like the Everton one, for example, when you are lacking that one creative pass or idea. He has the quality not many midfielders in the world have, so it would be great to get him back

It’s very difficult now to put a team out there without having Mason Greenwood in my mind, yes. I remember when I came to the club and scored a few goals, I felt I could perform better. The manager used to say it was hard to keep players who score out of the team. It is the same with Mason

2019 12 18 Retrieve

[Solskjaer confident after Man Utd draw Man City in Carabao Cup] We dominated, created chances, but you’re never sure until you get the first goal. They’ve had 0-0 against Palace and Tottenham, they are a good, hard team to break down. We created enough chances first half to put it to bed but then at least we got goals in the second half. If we kept playing like the first half I would have been happy but in the second half we were miles worse. We created more chances in the first half, we dominated, we were more patient; second half we did not make as many good decisions but we scored the goals

[Solskjaer’s men beat City 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium on December 7 and the United boss seemed pleased with the draw] You always want to win trophies and you want to win games and we got a nice little draw. It’ll be exciting times coming up. I don’t feel anything is written in the stars; you just work hard, take what you get and do the best out of it. We’ve shown before that we can do well against City and teams like that

2019 12 19 Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed that Red Bull Salzburg striker Erling Haaland is the subject of interest from Manchester United] He is a player I like. We are looking for good players all the time. Erling has had a good development, so he has to develop further wherever he decides. I don’t need to talk so much about him, but we as a team always look for players who can complement the others we have, and then we see what we end up with

2019 12 19b Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer labelled Manchester City ‘the best team in England’ after Manchester United were drawn to face their rivals] [They will be] fantastic days in Manchester. They’re the best team in England and we’re confident going into the semi-final. Of course, we do really respect them and, as I said after the derby last time, in my opinion, they are the best team in England. They can out-football you so we need to get our game heads on and be ready for them again. But we’ve shown them that we can cause them problems. I think they will be two fantastic games

2019 12 20 Retrieve

[Pogba will not be sold] He’s not getting sold in January. [However he also played down the chances of him featuring for the club again in 2019] It was something that really needed sorting but I don’t think I should give you all the medical information. But he’s now feeling good and getting better. It’s worked. When he comes back and plays well, with a smile on his face, and does what he did a year ago when I came here… Paul has been fantastic and we’ve got one of the best players in the world

2019 12 20b Retrieve

[Solskjaer had Man Utd exit clause because he always believed dream job would come] I went to Cardiff because I thought there was potential for me to do well with them and then impress everyone at Man United because that has always been my drive. I wanted to come here to United. But it didn’t work out and I went back to Molde. When I signed a new contract there I always said ‘if Man United comes in for me, I want it in my contract that I can go on a free - if they come, if they call, if I am daft, or naive, or stupid enough to still believe that’. And of course nobody would think that after what I did with Cardiff. But I had that written into my contract and that was the only club

[Upon taking the reins at United, Solskjaer made a move to bring in Mike Phelan as his assistant a top priority] I was trying to get hold of Mick Phelan because I knew I needed Mick with me. He was apparently doing a coaching session at a college up in Burnley and I couldn’t get hold of him. From the moment I got the call, I rang him, I rang him and I rang him. I rang the gaffer [Ferguson] first by the way and said ‘I have been offered this and what do you think?’. He said ‘yeah you will be fine’. I knew I needed Mick. I finally got hold him and he said yes. He had about 150 missed calls. The gaffer rang him as well and said ‘you need to speak to Ole’. I remember I was nervous walking in, for the first meeting with the players. They were sat there and waiting, of course. I spoke to Carras the day after the club rang and he told me what they had been doing in training. I had a good chat with him because Michael is a top, top guy

[Solskjaer also claims to have had a model for managing United in mind before he was handed the reins] Of course. I have always followed Man United since I signed for us and I had my own ideas about how this team should be playing, and who should be here and who shouldn’t be here

2019 12 20c Retrieve

[Solskjaer provides Haaland transfer update as he rules out Paul Pogba Man Utd exit] I don’t think he’s en route here, to be fair - not through me, anyway. You know I can’t comment on other teams’ players. I’ve said that many a time

[When pushed further for any new developments regarding the Norwegian striker] Well, he’s not coming to Manchester because… well, I know the boy, his friends and all this. He’s on a Christmas holiday. No (not in Manchester) but you can’t fly anywhere from Stavanger, can you, so you need to go via here!

[Pogba publicly admitted he wanted to leave Old Trafford over the summer] He’s not getting sold in January, no. When he comes back, he’ll play well, with a smile on his face and do what he did a year ago when I came here. Paul has been fantastic. We know we’ve got one of the best players in the world, when he plays well and gets fit. He needs time

[When pressed on whether or not Paul Pogba will be back this month] I hope so still let’s see how he feels, I’m not going to push him, what he feels, his ankle, we need him to be 100% fit. I can’t risk any setbacks. It was something that really needed sorting. I don’t think I should give you all the medical information but he’s now feeling good and getting better, it’s worked

2019 12 20d Retrieve

[Quizzed again on his recruitment plans ahead of a Premier League meeting] As a manager, you always hope you can do something but, then again, it’s not something that’s nailed on. It has to be the right player, the right age, he’s got to fit into this squad and for the right value. We’re always looking and the transfer window will be open but it might not happen

There’s always a chance of outgoing moves. I can say with 99.9 per cent sureness that they [squad members] won’t go but there are always teams who will come and be interested in some of ours. Maybe they haven’t played enough so, of course, there may be a chance

[Academy graduates Angel Gomes and Tahith Chong are among those to have generated transfer talk of late] Both of them are players we want to keep, they are good talents, they’ve had a couple of niggles and injuries. Angel has been ill now for a few weeks, had a bad ankle but there are talents and they’re Man United people

2019 12 21 Retrieve

[Solskjaer promises to mix it up against City] You won’t beat City twice in a row or three times with the same tactics, so we’ll have to do something better than we did last time because I’m sure Pep will have his team fired up.

We’ve looked at that game and we’re very pleased with the result, and parts of that game. There are things we need to do so much better … we’ve got to stamp our authority more. There aren’t many that can do but we have to aim for that. They can out-football you. So we need to get our game heads on and be ready for them again, but we’ve shown them as well we can cause them problems

2019 12 21b Retrieve

[Solskjaer expects more inconsistency from Man Utd after ‘rollercoaster’ year in charge] It’ll take time as everything will do in football. We’re such a young team that we’re still going to see some inconsistency but you’re not going to see us surrender - you’re not going to see that. I never fly off if we’re doing well and I don’t really get too down when it’s going against us because it’s a fine line there and fine margins between success and not-so-great results in football. I think that’s me as a person. It’s just looking forward to the next one and how I can make sure we do the job properly and that we’re prepared for what’s going to come. You’ve got to take the ups and the downs and the setbacks with the same mentality as when you’re doing well. You’re not going to see me in the dumps and you’re not going to see me in the skies

We want to get back into winning ways. We want to lift trophies. We’ve got two fantastic derbies coming up [with City in the Carabao Cup semi-finals] and some very important away games. We’ve also got the Europa League so of course, let’s see where we are in May

[Questions have been asked of his suitability to that task on a regular basis] It’s been a rollercoaster. But it’s been fantastic. It’s been a year that maybe I didn’t think was going to come but deep down in the back of my mind, I always dreamt about this job

2019 12 21c Retrieve

[Solskjaer insists he has ‘final say’ on Man Utd transfers amid Paul Pogba rumours] I’ll always have the final say on transfers. No one comes in the door without me saying yes. It has to be that way, even though signing players is a process involving other members of staff. I don’t really speak to agents, because I have nothing to do with the money side of it, but the final decision on who becomes a Manchester United player will be mine

All I can say is that Paul is working as hard as he can to get back and you will see him smile again as soon as he’s back on the pitch. He is a Manchester United player, someone we are really happy to have in the squad and one of the best players in the world, but he needs to be fit.

Everyone is allowed to be injured from time to time. I was out for 18 months once, and of course I attended weddings and did all sorts of different things during that period, but it was still a bad time for me because I wasn’t playing football. Being out for a long time like Paul is the worst thing that can happen to a player, because everyone wants to play. It’s a proper mental test for a footballer because there’s nothing more disheartening.

He’s back in training, that’s a step forward for us. I’m not going to push him. It depends how he feels. When he’s fit, he’s fit. Obviously it’s frustrating to be without a player of his quality for so long, but it’s part of football. You always want to play your strongest team but you have to plan for different scenarios. The rest of the team have stepped up and done well while Paul has been out.

2019 12 22 Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Man Utd ready for ‘great’ festive period] It’s great and I feel the squad is ready for that. I think physically we’re ready for it and mentally we’re in a good moment because we’re getting some decent results. And we’re getting players coming back so we’re getting more and more competition for places. Playing is the best thing in the world for the players and it’s what they like to do and enjoy to do. When you’re getting results and performances you just look forward to the next game. I think we’re all set for a good period. That’s what they’ve been dreaming of their whole lives, playing games. I remember myself when I was back home in Norway thinking I’d love to be in England over the Easter period or Christmas period, it’s a fantastic tradition. So even though players are tired they’re still good games to watch.

[With injuries clearing, the Norwegian stresses the importance of having depth] That’s why we’ve been rotating early on and giving players minutes. When you have two games on Boxing Day and two days later you can make changes. We have Watford before that so we’ve got three games in six days so that’s quite demanding but we’re in a good position

[Solskjaer clarifies Paul Pogba’s fitness levels] He’s training. He’s back in with the team so we’ll see how long it takes for him to feel ready to be part of a game. It’s a similar squad to what we’ve had the last few weeks

2019 12 22b Retrieve

[Paul Pogba hands Man Utd boost as midfielder returns to Red Devils squad against Watford] Paul Pogba looks very ready. He’s in good shape, he’s feeling good and his ankle is feeling great now. Hopefully we can see the best of Paul in the next few months

He’s been off two days, which is not beneficial. It’s probably set him back quite a bit.

[Solskjaer has been desperate to have him available] It’s games like the Everton one, for example, when you are lacking that one creative pass or idea, that he’s missed. He has the quality not many midfielders in the world have, so it would be great to get him back

2019 12 22c Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has dismissed David de Gea’s mistake against Watford as one of those things after his side suffered a 2-0 defeat on Sunday] It’s one of those things. He’s been so good in training and focused. One goal is a mistake and the second is penalty. David’s been very confident lately and I don’t look at it any other way

It was a mistake. It happens in football and it is what we train for every day to make sure they don’t happen again. David has been very good lately, it is just one of those things that happen. You have to earn every point on the pitch and today we didn’t deserve that. I can talk about it all day long. We have to face the fact we have two games coming up that we have to improve on

[United attacker Jesse Lingard missed United’s biggest opportunity in the first half when he went through on goal but tried to chip it over Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster and missed the target] Ben Foster stood up so I don’t think a chip was the right option. It was a good run, we could have been 1-0 up but it happens. Sometimes you miss the target and sometimes you score. We need a reaction

2019 12 22d Retrieve

[Solksjaer revealed the news after confirming that Pogba will not feature in Wednesday’s Carabao Cup quarter-final against Colchester United at Old Trafford] Of all things he’s been struck down ill now. He’s been off for two or three days – three days probably – so that’s not beneficial. That’s probably set him back quite a bit

2019 12 22e Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Paul Pogba’s return and subsequent performance off the bench was the only plus in Manchester United’s 2-0 defeat to Watford] The big plus is Paul coming on, and that’s the one plus. He added urgency, quality, some great passes. The boy has been working hard. He’s fit and leaner. He’ll bring us a lot. He is important for us. He makes us create more chances

[De Gea’s error proved costly. Solskjaer insisted De Gea is not suffering from a lack of confidence] It’s one of those things. He’s been so good in training and focused. One goal is a mistake and the second is a penalty. David’s been very confident lately and I don’t look at it any other way

2019 12 22e Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer bemoaned the sluggish nature of his side’s first-half performance against Watford] We started the game slowly. The first half was very, very poor from both sides and when you concede two goals like we did in quick succession with their two shots on target we gave ourselves too much to do. We had been doing well but you have to earn every single point in this league. It was too slow, it was like a testimonial in the first half from both teams

We didn’t deserve to win the game by the way we played. We were too slow in possession, too slow without the ball, not enough intensity. We didn’t have enough to get back. You have to be out there and ready. If you don’t take your chances you get punished. They took their chances. We didn’t take our chances. You have to earn every inch, every chance. I can talk about it all day long. We have to face the fact we have two games coming up that we have to improve on

2019 12 23 Retrieve

[Solskjaer has said that he will look to rotate his squad over the coming weeks] Yes [I’ve got a big squad] and that’s important. That’s why we’ve been rotating early on and giving players minutes. When you have two games on Boxing Day and two days later you can make changes

2019 12 24 Retrieve

[Manchester United boss believes that Erling Braut Haaland, whom he coached at Molde, has decided his future] He knows what he wants to do and knows what he is going to do. I don’t have to offer any advice to other teams’ players

2019 12 24b Retrieve

[Solskjaer says Paul Pogba is the best all-round midfielder in the world] Let’s see how he reacts, how he feels. He did really well when he came on, a big plus. It might be that we do get him in from the start because you just want to get more and more into the team when he plays. He can play anywhere, the whole midfield. He’s a box-to-box midfielder. He can drop deep, play them long passes, get higher up and combine, [play] one-twos - him and Anthony [Martial] and Marcus [Rashford] creating chances down that side - so it depends on the game. That’s the beauty of having Paul: he is the best all-round midfielder in the world, he can do all roles, but if I play him low, he should’ve played high, and if I play him high, he should’ve played low. It’s always going to be that discussion with him. But it’s great to have him back

2019 12 24c Retrieve

[Ibrahimovic even suggested in the summer that he would be willing to go back to Old Trafford if the club needed him. Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer laughed off the comments at the time] If he was 28, not 38 it would be a big difference. But Zlatan has had a great time here and, of course, he is still doing well and was unfortunate he got his injury here when he did. So, who knows? He knows my number. He never rented my house but he was looking at it, and we can speak our native language. If he’s serious I’ll always speak to Zlatan

2019 12 24d Retrieve

[Solskjaer opens up on ‘cultural reboot’ at Old Trafford] I’m in charge of picking the team and we want Man United to become what they used to be. We want to win trophies again. If you don’t pull your weight and sacrifice yourself when it’s supposed to be done, if you don’t give 100 per cent, we have a nice, quiet word. I can’t change my ways and I’m the same with my kids. If they do their best, if they try, fine. If they blatantly make a decision to not do what we’ve agreed or [show a] lack of effort, then they need telling. It’s the same values

I hate losing so, sometimes, I can be a bit down but it is not for the lack of effort. I know the boys, they have great attitudes, the group is moving forward and the culture that is seen here now is miles better than towards the end of last season. It is natural to me to manage this way, but it all comes down to being moulded and learning all of my management skills from the gaffer [Sir Alex]. I love giving young players a chance and I love being direct, and going forward when the possibility is there. Yep, we need to be better with controlling and dominating games, but that will come with experience. We have the youngest team in the Premier League and, in one way, that is fantastic but, in another way, that comes with inconsistency. It is Man United’s style to be attacking and we need to win the games in the way that Sir Alex’s teams did, and the way the Busby Babes did. We want to win that way. It is not always going to happen but that is what we have to aim for and to strive for, to win in the right style. We have a responsibility and a duty to everyone who wants to come and watch us

2019 12 24e Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Man Utd want to be as good as Liverpool] We’re halfway through the season. We knew this season was going to be a season of some ups and downs and this season will be used to find the team and the squad for next season. But, hopefully, if we can speed this process up by getting more results, I expect us to be more consistent, definitely more experienced and learning from these setbacks. At the moment we’re a little bit further behind than I was hoping for

[Asked about the areas in which he wanted to improve] We want to be a team that can go and dominate teams and break teams down. It’s taken Liverpool a few years to get to that place and we need to keep on building, because that’s where we want to get to. Yes, we’re good at counter-attacking, yes, we’ve got pace, fast players, we should always keep that because that’s in our transition. Now we need to be better at breaking lower blocks. We created loads of chances [against Watford] towards the end, but every time we lose it, there’s a counter-attack, so we need to lock it down more and be better at stopping the counter-attacks – that’s where this team is going to learn and grow and I’m sure that we’ll see an improvement over this season and hopefully for next year

[United welcome Newcastle to Old Trafford on Boxing Day] It’s going to be difficult to break them down. I expect we’ll get a fair share of possession. We were disappointed we had more than 70 per cent up there when we lost the game. One of the good things about the team this year is we have reacted after bad results. We haven’t kept the consistency as we’d like the other way, but we’ve never gone on a big run like we did towards the end of last season, so there will be a reaction, definitely. It’s an easy team talk, to be fair, to get the reaction, show a reaction, get the fans on your side, which is no problem because our fans have always been on our side when we’ve needed them. But we’ve got to earn that. I’m sure you’ll see a reaction

2019 12 26 Retrieve

[Mason Greenwood joins Rooney and Giggs while impressing Solskjaer in Man Utd win] Mason [Greeenwood] is a great striker of the ball. You know he is going to hit the target more times than not. The way he strikes it is nice to see and he is so unfazed by whatever happens. The three of them are a handful when we can get the space we did today. These boys will never give up, this club knows that towards the end we can nick a point or even three from losing positions

[Solskjaer says his recovery is on track, and that he expects continued improvement from the team’s most expensive player] It is still a bit early for him, he has been out for a long time but he has to get used to being back on a big pitch. We have had some five-a-side but not with 21 other men on the pitch, He will get better and better

2019 12 26b Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said that Scott McTominay has done his ligament in the knee probably] ‘s done his ligament in his knee, probably. We don’t know how bad it is, so let’s see. The boy has got the biggest heart of the lot. He played until half-time but we know when they stiffen up after. We’ll have to find out tomorrow, how he is. You see the attitude of the kid, of everyone, in the beginning of the game. I’m not sure if he’ll be ready for Saturday [against Burnley]. Probably not, but we’ve seen him recover before

[McTominay was forced to leave Old Trafford on crutches] It is not fair to ask players to play two games in three days but we just have to get on with it. We are young and mentally strong and that means we will be ready

2019 12 26c Retrieve

[Solskjaer explains why Pogba isn’t starting for Man Utd yet] Andreas Pereira and Mason Greenwood have done really well and they will give us fresh legs. With Paul Pogba, it’s too early to demand too much of him. He has worked really hard but we will have to drip-feed him in and gradually play him more and more

[Solskjaer hailed the 26-year-old’s return after the Watford match] That’s the beauty of having Paul: he is the best all-round midfielder in the world. He can do all roles, but if I play him low, he should’ve played high, and if I play him high, he should’ve played low. It’s always going to be that discussion with him. But it’s great to have him back

2019 12 27 Retrieve

[Solskjaer has compared the 22-year-old to former United star f4e188f1e3720e67296d3818c53a72c5 previously and the manager did so again after 24d6fdd6a58c34303e48578b324a33e5’s superb header] He is a physical specimen. He’s looking after himself, working hard in the gym. When you’ve got that spring, it’s just about having courage and getting up there. I remember a boy I used to play with that used to head it quite well when he was close to goal. And we compare them quite often. So, that’s another string to his bow Marcus that Cristiano used to get when he was getting to that age as well

[Martial is up to six goals in the Premier League this season and Solskjaer said his team needed to make better use of the France forward] The key is to give him the ball. He’s not going to be the one who runs down the channels all day long. We need to give him the ball and feed him. I think the boys have said that many times themselves. We need to feed Anthony more, play forward more and into the front men. Especially Anthony, it’s important for him to touch the ball a lot then he feels in the game. Today was almost the same goal as he scored against [Manchester] City, down to the bottom with his left foot. It could have been his hat-trick

2019 12 27b Retrieve

[Solskjaer’s side have often struggled to break down more defensive opposition this term, but the Manchester United boss believes the win over Newcastle shows their style can work] I think it’s been said in no uncertain terms what type of team we are. Supporters know what we expect and know when we are at our best. We showed that on Thursday and, even though we went a goal down, heads didn’t drop. We have to make it hard to play against us. We can’t play tippy-tappy football and can’t, at this moment in time, play like City - only City can do that. We have to show more energy, drive and urgency, plus selflessness in every single game. That’s the way we have to play at the moment

[Solskjaer remains confident of finishing in the top four come May] We should get into the top four without waiting for the final game against Leicester. But it may go down to that game, who knows? I’ve said about this team that we may be challenging for a lot more next year. We’re young but I expect a lot from this team this year

[Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp this week described the scheduling of the festive fixtures as criminal and Solskjaer agrees something needs to be changed] You are traditionalists in this country so I can’t see it changing, but it should. I don’t think it’s fair on the boys at all. It’s not fair to be expected to perform at the best of your ability, mentally and physically, 48 hours after you last played. But we are probably in the best position to perform on Saturday because the game [against Newcastle] was over after 45 minutes and we are a young side. We have a chance against Burnley to perform at our best level. When you’re 23, which I think was our average age against Newcastle, it makes it easier to recover than Burnley. But it’s not fair, especially when there was a game against Watford just gone, a game on New Year’s Day - two games in three days

2019 12 28 Retrieve

[Solskjaer: We didn’t feel it was right for Man Utd star Paul Pogba to participate against Burnley] It is a quick turnaround. We have had some players playing quite a bit. Fresh legs coming in. Paul has played two games now and has been out for a while so we didn’t feel it was right for him to participate today.

[The Norwegian also confirmed that he does not yet know the severity of McTominay’s knee problem] We’ve looked at Scott but we haven’t done the full scan yet. Over the weekend we will know more. It didn’t look good but we hope he’s going to heal quickly

2019 12 28b Retrieve

[Solskjaer likens Mason Greenwood to Man Utd legend Cristiano Ronaldo after Newcastle strike] There are not too many I can remember like him who has every single technique. He’s not just 50-50 with both feet but probably 60-60! Cristiano can score just as many with his left and they are proper strikes. But Mason can curl the ball with both feet, he is an exceptional finisher

He has got the lot. He’s young and has got a lot to learn, he knows that. He needs to head the ball like Marcus Rashford can. I don’t think we are going to see the best of Mason for a couple of years. But I can remember when I was 18 but I was nowhere near the level playing at he was

2019 12 29 Retrieve

[Solskjaer happy Man Utd can grind out wins] In the first half I thought we were very good. We controlled it, dominated it, scored a nice goal. Second half of course there’s going to be a couple of instances in your box because they’re desperate to get a goal and throwing men forward. We could have finished the game off really, we had some great counter-attacking chances. We should have got the second goal earlier but there was some great defending. It’s important for us to know that we can grind out results as well, even though when you score one you don’t always win. If we can get clean sheets we’ve got a chance to move up the table

[Solskjaer said his forwards must be less wasteful than they were against Burnley] You’re always kicking yourself when you don’t take your chances. There were so many great counter-attacking opportunities, when we made wrong decisions or were a little bit too slow to get the finish off, but it was an excellent performance. Let’s see what we do against Arsenal. We want to keep that momentum going. Two wins after a disappointing game against Watford. Happy with that. Good response. The boys are learning

2019 12 29b Retrieve

[Why Borussia Dortmund is a better fit for Haaland than Man Utd] I don’t comment on those speculations. He knows what he wants to do, and he knows what he’s going to do, so I don’t have to give any advice to any other team’s players

2019 12 31 Retrieve

[Solskjaer has made it clear that he calls the shots when it comes to transfer targets at Old Trafford] I’ll always have the final say. Nobody comes in the door without me saying yes. It has to be that way, even though signing players is a process involving other members of staff. I don’t really speak to agents, because I have nothing to do with the money side of it, but the final decision on who becomes a Manchester United player will be mine

2019 12 31b Retrieve

[Pressed on whether he will look to bring in another frontman] I’m a striker by nature and I’ve always been an optimist. I’m optimistic we can keep players fit and if the right ones become available we do have the resources and I do have the backing from the board. One addition, and if you get two additions, of course that will be competition for places.

But it’s also about getting the right ones. It has to be. There’s no point suddenly bringing someone else in now for the sake of three or four months if that can disrupt any good feeling or chemistry in the group, because the chemistry in the group is really good.

It has to be the right type and it has to be a good investment for the long-term as well. We always believed Anthony and Marcus were going to score goals but Mason has filled a big void, he’s chipped in with goals. So I’m not worried about goals from centre-forwards. Mason’s on eight now. Marcus is on 15 and Anthony has quite a few (10). Romelu [Lukaku] is a good striker and he’ll always score goals but it was time for him to move on. We didn’t find the right one outside our club (in the summer) but we had Mason

We will consign this decade definitely, that’s just in the nature of this club. But 2020 sounds quite good for me. I’m going to make 2020 a good year for myself. I think we’re on the right track. We are in a transition period, we’ve seen other clubs do it and come out strong after a couple of years. We’re improving. I think we can see more and more of what we want to be and our identity and what we’re good at. We’re making games suit our style more and more. We’ve played the same way for a little while and we’re getting use to each other. We’re quite a bit away still from where we want to be and we’ll have ups and downs, but less and less of the downs hopefully. I’ve said we’re not a Manchester City, we can’t out-play and out-football teams like they do yet, but hopefully in a few years we can. It’s not going to be overnight. It’s only them who can do that. We are more fast-flowing, quicker attacking football

2019 12 31c Retrieve

[On why Pogba missed out against Burnley] When you’ve been out for such a while, it’s always going to take time to be 100 per cent. He just needed another day, probably, of recovery

[United back to within four points of the Premier League’s top four] Well, if we can keep [our forwards] fit and if we can keep on improving, one addition, if you get two additions, of course that’s going to be competition for places, and that’s what you’ve got to deal with at this club. We haven’t had enough [competition] because we’ve had so many injuries, but now we’re getting more and more players fit. So now I’ve got to leave players out that I maybe should have played. So [on Saturday] Luke [Shaw] and Aaron [Wan-Bissaka] were replaced by two fantastic performers with Ashley [Young] and Brandon [Williams], so it gives me more options

2020 01 01 Retrieve

[Solskjaer confirms Paul Pogba out of Man Utd action for ‘a few weeks’ with ankle injury] He’s injured. He’s feeling some discomfort in his ankle and he’ll be out for a few weeks, definitely

2020 01 01b Retrieve

[Solskjaer says Man Utd star Paul Pogba set for ankle operation] Three or four weeks maybe, I don’t know. He’s been advised to have an operation by his people and he’ll probably do that. We’ve had scans and it’s nothing major, it’s something that needs to be looked and sorted as soon as possible. We’ve had consultants and the club have looked at him too and that’s what we’ve been advised

2020 01 02 Retrieve

[Man Utd ‘looking at one or two’ January signings as Solskjaer seeks to counter Pogba & McTominay injuries] You can see the squad and sometimes you think, yeah, one or two additions would do nicely because we are building towards something. It just depends on if what we think will be right for us will be available. Of course it’s playing on our decision-making when we’ve got two players out for a bit, Scott for two months and Paul for a month. That gives us less options and we have loads of games and important games. But it still has to be right and that’s the big point here, if someone is available and something is possible we’ll do it. We’re looking at one or two

[Solskjaer has said of Paul Pogba] Three or four weeks maybe, I don’t know. He’s been advised to have an operation by his people and he’ll probably do that. We’ve had scans and it’s nothing major, it’s something that needs to be looked and sorted as soon as possible. We’ve had consultants and the club have looked at him too and that’s what we’ve been advised

2020 01 03 Retrieve

[Solskjaer set for talks with Pogba over Raiola’s Man Utd insults. When asked if agents should speak about clubs] No. I can speak to Paul about it. I don’t think I should talk to - or about - agents that talk about us. But Paul is our player and agents are hired by players - not the opposite way around. It is not agents’ players, it is our players

[When asked if he had already told Pogba he was upset about Raiola’s comments] What me and Paul are talking about, I don’t have to talk to you about. That will be between us. Paul is very committed to coming back, playing well for us, and it’s hard when you’re injured to go and talk about all sorts. I think his talking needs to be when he comes back on the pitch. That’s the most important thing - that we get him fit. Get everyone fit. He’s a top player. He’s a very, very good player that we’ve missed this season, but I think the boys have done really well without him

2020 01 03b Retrieve

[Solskjaer dismisses Van Persie criticism that say he want ole to look angry after derby defeat] I don’t know Robin and Robin doesn’t know me. He probably doesn’t have a right to criticise my management style and I won’t change. That’s definite. He took my No. 20 and that’s probably all he’s going to take from me as well. I’m not in medieval times

2020 01 03c Retrieve

[Solskjaer expects Mason Greenwood to nail down role] He’s grown a lot. He’s physically and mentally more robust, which, of course, you expect from an 18-year-old. He has had more or less 12 months with us now and he’s grown fantastically. His confidence and performances in the top games, even in the Premier League, he’s done well. As you said, he’s played a lot of the cup games and he’s done well. So, we’ll just keep continuing to give him more and more until he is a regular, because that will happen

[Solskjaer is aware of how difficult another outing at Molineux will be] It’s the fourth time there in my time already at Molineux and we haven’t won yet. It is a tough place. Liverpool lost there last season, City just lost there now, so we’ve got to earn the right to win there. We’ve got to play well, we’ve got to perform and we’ve got to go there positive, because we want a reaction after a defeat against Arsenal, which everyone says was such a bad, bad performance. To me it was a good game by two good teams, two good footballing teams. They have quality: good players, a good manager, who has had time and he’s got his way of playing, his philosophy. The players are getting to know each other. You can see that they have swapped between 3-5-2, 3-4-3 and they seem to know every little detail there is in those two systems. They know each other, relationships, like swapping positions, rotations, which is a great place to be in when you get that consistency that he has had. So, we know we’re up for a hard night at Molineux

2020 01 03d Retrieve

[Solskjaer annoyed by Paul Pogba questions as he confirms likely four-week absence] Here we go again. FA Cup third round and you’re talking about Paul again. Paul came back after a long spell out, two games, had a reaction, couldn’t go to Burnley, felt his ankle was sore, we did a scan. And it’s not the same injury, it’s a different injury. Of course, when you get that scan, we speak to him, you consult your own medical people as well like I did, when I did my operation. You want the best second opinion and the advice was to have it done. It’s not a major one and probably, as I said, three or four weeks

[The Norwegian said when making that revelation that surgery may be required after discussions with Pogba’s ‘people’. That was considered by many to be a dig at Mino Raiola, the French midfielder’s outspoken agent] When I said ‘his people’, as in when you consult your surgeon and the ones you trust, that’s maybe my bad English. You have people you trust and speak to. As I said, when I did my injuries, loads of knee operations, I had my people in Norway and Sweden I spoke to and Paul has people he trusts, and that’s more important. So that’s more or less it. And the FA Cup is the next talking subject, all right? That’s as clear as it can be at this point

2020 01 03e Retrieve

[When asked about Haaland’s transfer choice] Well, Borussia Dortmund have signed a fantastic boy, I can’t answer more than that

2020 01 04 Retrieve

[Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer declared that Sergio Romero is challenging David de Gea for the first choice goalkeeper role at Old Trafford] They had chances - Sergio Romero made some great saves and we got off the hook with the header. Sergio has never let us down, he’s kept so many clean sheets. He is a fantastic human being and a top professional. He’s putting pressure on David de Gea and that’s what we want. We want the best players in the world here

It’s a competition I love. It’s a fair result that we are both still in the cup. I’m happier to be in the replay than going out - it’s a tough place to come

2020 01 04b Retrieve

[Solskjaer content with FA Cup replay after Man Utd draw] I’d rather have a replay than be out of the cup. We knew coming here was difficult but we’re still in the hat and at home there’s a little bit more chance of going through. It always is [tough] when you come to Molineux. I thought we played well in the first half, dominated possession but then they took over in the second half, which made it an even tougher game. We got off the hook when Doherty mistimed his header and it hit his arm, but I thought a draw was a fair result. We didn’t create too many chances but I thought we controlled it. It was just that last bit we missed, we set out to control possession. I thought we did okay. Some players have played and are tired, some haven’t played and probably felt the effects of that towards the end

[There were concerns over Harry Maguire’s fitness] I don’t know. We were close to taking him off at half-time, but he battled through. Let’s see how he recovers, but we hope so

2020 01 04c Retrieve

[Nuno admits Raul Jimenez future may lay away from Wolves amid Man Utd interest] [He’s] another good player we’ve been linked with. He came on and did well [but] I cannot comment on these situations

2020 01 04d Retrieve

[Quizzed on his midfield and why that area of the side has been overlooked] We had four fit players at the start of the season for two positions and we felt that we didn’t find the right one for the right value. But we have been looking to strengthen the squad in different positions. Of course [the injuries are] a big blow. You could probably handle and deal with three players rotating if you’ve got the two fit like we have now with Nemanja and Fred. It will be a hard task for them. We will just have to ask them to keep going if they can. Nemanja [Matic] has been out for a while, Paul has been out for a while and I think Scotty and Fred have done really well

You can see the squad and sometimes you think, yeah, one or two additions would do nicely because we are building towards something. It just depends on if what we think will be right for us will be available. Of course it’s playing on our decision-making when we’ve got two players out for a bit, Scott for two months and Paul for a month. That gives us less options and we have loads of games and important games. But it still has to be right and that’s the big point here, if someone is available and something is possible we’ll do it. We’re looking at one or two

2020 01 05 Retrieve

[Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has insisted that Paul Pogba will not be sold in the January transfer window] You won’t see Paul [Pogba] go in January

[Wolves striker Raul Jimenez is among those thought to be on United’s radar] Another good player we have been linked with. He did really well today. I can’t comment on speculation

2020 01 06 Retrieve

[Man United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reveals he has warned Jesse Lingard to cut back on social media] Jesse has had his ups and downs, as I’ve spoken about before. But against City and Tottenham there were two examples of how important he can be for us in different games

[Asked about footballers using social media] It’s part of being a Man United player, how you come across. It’s important that you do give up yourself in a positive way and it’s football-related. I do speak to players about how they portray themselves. I don’t have these social media things but it’s a different generation

2020 01 06b Retrieve

[Solskjaer wants Lingard ‘back scoring and making assists’ for Man Utd after easing off on social media] Jesse has had his ups and downs as I’ve spoken about before, but against City and Tottenham, two examples of how important he can be for us in difficult games. We want him back scoring and making assists

There’s no one who runs as much, great trigger in the pressing, lively bubbly character, I don’t think you see as much social media from Jesse as you used to. He’s got his head down and working hard and getting back to the Jesse I knew

We’ve got to aim for performances like that. Two good days against Tottenham and City in a short spell, so we know we can do it physically. But every game lives its own life and when you get highs like that, I’m sure they will look back on it and say, ‘that’s the Man United we want to see’. But we can still improve on that one

2020 01 06c Retrieve

[Solskjaer has said of his bid to bring fresh faces into Old Trafford, with Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay currently sidelined] We had four fit players at the start of the season for two positions and we felt that we didn’t find the right one for the right value. But we have been looking to strengthen the squad in different positions

2020 01 06d Retrieve

[Solskjaer says Manchester United will wait until the last minute to make a decision on Harry Maguire’s involvement in their Carabao Cup semi-final showdown against Manchester City] It is a bit early yet. We are going to give him as much time as possible. He was hobbling about yesterday but there are still 36 hours to go do we will just wait with all of them. It is not a time to go out on the pitch and do lots of work anyway. We are going to do meetings and recovery work

Yeah, we hope that everyone is going to be available but we don’t know, because some recover quicker from illnesses than others. So it is the same answer. We have just got to give them as much time as possible and make a decision on the team in the morning

Big games give you energy, give you the urge to go to the next level, above and beyond what you might be capable of in your head, sometimes you surprise yourself. There’s no way you can train in between, it’s about mental prep, good treatment with physios and staff and just hopefully remember what we did last time and what we must do better

2020 01 07 Retrieve

[Solskjaer calls for more protection for Man Utd stars from ‘tactical fouls’ ahead of Carabao Cup clash with City] That’s a big thing and sometimes I look at the referees and I look at our games and even if they are just little fouls there have been teams who have stopped us with those little fouls, which has stopped us showing how good we are when we attack. But I didn’t raise it [the subject of tactical fouling] this time, you did!

There have been a few fouls on Dan James and I am better off not talking about it but the referees have got to look at when players with his pace, even if they just knock the ball past them, they [opponents] stop them in their tracks. Of course, it is yellow cards [that should be issued].

2020 01 07b Retrieve

[Solskjaer calls for PSG-style comeback for Man Utd after Carabao Cup loss to Man City] From their first goal and especially the second we struggled to get to grips with them. A good reaction second half, but first half until they scored it was back and forth. We didn’t cope with the setback well enough. We didn’t deal with their system well enough, we know they can play that way. They played that way last season and beat Chelsea 5-0. First goal there is nothing we can do, second is sloppy and the third we just didn’t recover

[Solskjaer said the introduction of Nemanja Matic at half-time helped United gain more control over the game] With Matic and his experience he had more presence. It was more about wanting the ball and believing, passing the ball. Someone needed to take responsibility

We’ve shown before we have been down from a home tie and turned it around. PSG is the latest example and we have to believe that we can put on a performance

2020 01 07c Retrieve

[Solskjaer: Man Utd still believe they are the biggest club in the world & will be back] It is a different time. When the owners came in at City you knew they were going to go for it. I’m never surprised by anything in football and with what they have done they deserve to be where they are. We are still in our own heads the biggest club in the world so, of course, we want to get back to where we were. It’s going to take time. You have to go for it at this club, that’s what we are here for, to take on the challenges that are given to us. We are Man Utd. We have been up and we’ve been down but we’ve always come back

2020 01 07d Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Pep Guardiola isn’t the most influential manager the Premier League has seen] I must say that he’s had a big, big influence, of course. Since he took over at Barcelona, I’ve admired Pep’s teams but I’ve got to say that I’ve worked under the most influential one. You do see [Guardiola as] one of the best managers ever and you can see where he’s taken his wisdom from as well.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and speaking to Johan [Cruyff] back in the day when Jordi was here – we’re friends – and you can see similarities. It’s a different era and a different time [to Ferguson’s era]. When the [Man City] owners came in, you knew they were going to go for it. We are still, in our own heads, one of the biggest clubs in the world, but we know that’s going to take time. I admire Pep’s team. They’ve raised the bar so much, it’s something to aim for

2020 01 08 Retrieve

[Solskjaer confirms Maguire likely to miss Man Utd’s clash with Norwich through injury] We don’t know. It is not going to be a long-term one. But I don’t think he will be ready for the weekend. Let’s see

[on Phil Jones] Phil Jones had cramp. It was his first 90 minutes for a while, but he came through it. It was just cramp

2020 01 08b Retrieve

[Man Utd boss Solskjaer reluctant to sanction January departures amid Ashley Young to Inter rumours] Tonight’s not the time to talk about players leaving, because we need the players we have in the squad and we’ve got a few months left of this season. You’ve got to ask Ash, to be fair. For me, it’s about focusing on the next game and tonight [City]

[On the possibility of incoming transfers at Old Trafford in the winter market] I’ve got the backing to do something, but if it isn’t the right thing we won’t do anything

2020 01 08c Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer felt Manchester United’s first half against Manchester City in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday was the worst they have played this season] From their goal until half-time it’s the worst we’ve played. Before then, it could’ve gone either way, a goal, but that doesn’t matter now. We’ve just got to focus on Saturday, Norwich [City]. After that second half we’ve got something that we can believe in

Pride is one word that you speak about at half-time. Make sure you win the second half and you’re in the tie and of course it’s a difficult task that we’ve got in front of us. But that second half at least gave us something to hang onto

2020 01 10 Retrieve

[The Norwegian insists he will not gamble on short-term transfers that may harm the club in the future] It wouldn’t always be the worst thing you can do to put a short-term fix in if it’s good for the group here and now. But you wouldn’t put yourself in a situation where you’ve done something that you regret in 18 months’ time.

We’ve got to do due diligence - character of players, quality of players that are the right fit into this squad. I am not going to protect myself. I am going to do what is best for the club, what I think and we feel is right for the club and I will never put myself before the club. This is Man United and there is no ‘I’ in Manchester and for me there is no ‘I’ in this team and I could never ever do that, that’s not me. I am working for Man United, not for me. I have those conversations with Ed Woodward all the time and we are looking at how we are going to look in one month’s time, five months’ time, in the longer period. He knows my feelings and we know our feelings. I am very happy with these players

[Solskjaer says he isn’t afraid to tell Woodward what he wants but insists the pair both share the same long-term vision for the club] Of course we have got open discussions and of course we’re open and honest and we talk. But I wouldn’t say to you what I say to him, that’s none of my concern really. I would never say: ‘I need this and this player out of the club’ to you. We are building towards something and I’m almost getting bored myself talking about this, and the fans will definitely be bored listening to me talk about what we do have as a vision and a plan. But it doesn’t change from August or September 1 to now. It’s impossible for that to change

2020 01 10b Retrieve

[Man Utd baffled by Maguire injury claims as £80m star comes back into contention] He’s got a chance, it was a minor thing. I don’t know where the reports are coming from, they might’ve mistaken it for Harry Kane. He will go through training and see how he reacts. It’s not a surprise, he’s a warrior and if there’s a minor problem he’ll put himself up to play and that’s what he did against Wolverhampton. At half-time he was feeling discomfort, he was close to playing against City, just not fit enough but he’s got a chance now

[He said when asked about his recruitment plans] We’ve still got the same thoughts we had a month ago, we’ve got the players we have, working with the ones we have and if something happens we’ll tell you. I can’t say yes or no but I wouldn’t expect many ins and outs

[Asked about Ashley Young] Ashley Young’s one of our players, our captain, there’s loads of speculation, we’ve just got to handle it. Ashley’s been very professional and focused so I don’t think that’s going to change

2020 01 11 Retrieve

[Man Utd ready to ‘pounce’ in transfer market amid Bruno Fernandes rumours] That’s what it’s like at Man United, there’s always speculation and talk. I can only say we are working really well to improve the squad and when we find the right player for the right value, we’ll pounce on it

I’ve really got the backing from the owners, from Ed [Woodward, executive vice-chairman]. I know we have resources if the right player becomes available for the right money, and they’ve been so good to me. So, it might happen, it might not, it depends on if we find one for the right value, but the backing is there

[United board came under fire from the club’s fans once again. Solskjaer said of those chants] I’m not sure if the players will get it but I noticed, yeah. As a club, we’ve got to stick together, we’ve got to be united, we are a family. I can only say from when I’ve been here I’ve been backed by the owners, I’ve been backed by Ed and they’re supporting me, so for me, make sure they stick together.

We are in all competitions. We are still in the Carabao Cup, the FA Cup, we’re fifth in the league, still challenging. We’ve improved the position from last season, we’ve got Europa League. They (the supporters) have just got to believe me when I say I feel we are doing loads of good things behind the scenes. We are going in the right direction. See the group today; the attitude, the work-rate, that’s the core of the group that’s going to go forward

2020 01 11b Retrieve

[Solskjaer urged fans to show some togetherness, confirming he could hear the chants as he refused to duck the issue] I’m not sure if the players will get [hear] it, but I noticed, yeah. As a club we’ve got to stick together, we’ve got to be united, we are a family. I can only say from when I’ve been here I’ve been backed by the owners, I’ve been backed by Ed and they’re supporting me, so for me, make sure they stick together.

We are in all competitions. We are still in the EFL Cup, FA Cup, we’re fifth in the league, still challenging [for the top four], we’ve improved the position from last season, we’ve got Europa League – they [the fans] have just got to believe me when I say I feel we are doing loads of good things behind the scenes. We are going in the right direction. See the group today: the attitude, the work-rate, that’s the core of the group that’s going to go forward

[Solskjaer saluted Rashford’s achievement, before paying tribute to him for his attitude and mentality] What an achievement to get to 200 games at his age. I don’t know how many he’s scored [in total], but that’s 19 this season. He’s absolutely top class to work with, a great kid. He wants to learn, improve and he knows how to keep his feet on the ground. Today he was carrying a few knocks, but there was no chance he was going to say to me before the game he didn’t want to play. He will become better, but he has everything to become a top-class player: attitude, skill, physique. I’m delighted I have three centre-forwards [Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood] scoring today [Saturday]

2020 01 11c Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits that Marcus Rashford was struggling a bit after being substituted in Manchester United’s 4-0 win over Norwich] Fantastic effort by Marcus getting to 200 games so quickly. He got through most of the game, he is struggling a little bit so we took him off. He kept his cool. Very pleased with Marcus. We reacted today, we can bounce back and we are taking more than two or three steps forward before one back, because behind the scenes we know we are doing good work

[Solskjaer is hoping to see his team kick on from this point] Very happy. We started on the front foot. When you can walk off, and I am sure the opposition are talking about Man Utd as a very hard-working team, that is what I want from my team. In any Premier League game you have to take advantage of the pressure and domination you get. Second half was very good

2020 01 11d Retrieve

[When asked whether he can offer any update on potential incomings at Old Trafford] No. Of course, we’re always looking for the right deal and players who fit for Man Utd and that’s not going to be a short-term fix. I’m fed up saying it but we are looking to build and looking forward and we need players who will stay here for a long time

[Solskjaer also responded to rumours on social media of club captain Ashley Young’s impending departure] Social media, I don’t read that! Of course there is always going to be speculation about our players and we’ll just have to put up with it, that’s just the way it is at this club. We’re always headlines, front or back page

[Solskjaer masterminds a 3-1 win at Carrow Road earlier in the season, but he says that result will count for little as Man Und look to bounce back from a 2-0 defeat to Arsenal on New Year’s Day] That was a few months ago now. We’ve got to dust ourselves down and get the disappointment of the last couple of games - with Arsenal and City especially - out of our heads and be focused and positive and go out there and be ourselves

2020 01 12 Retrieve

[Solskjaer slammed by Man Utd fans after Man City ‘respect’ claims] You know, when you play Man City in the Carabao Cup and they put their strongest team out, you know you’ve gone places. It means they respect us, and teams start to respect Man United coming here. So, I didn’t take that too badly, you know? I took it as a compliment that they came out with their best players

[When ask about his side struggle for consistency in their performances or results] Yeah, the performance for 20 minutes of the first half [against Man City] wasn’t the best, but I think we reacted today [and showed] that we can bounce back. We’re taking more than two or three steps forward before the one step back, because behind the scenes, we know that we’re doing some good work

2020 01 14 Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said his aim is for Manchester United to challenge for the Premier League title next season] That is the aim, of course. I’m not saying it is a realistic one. We are behind and a fair rate behind the top one now, who we play on Sunday and we’ll see where we are against them. But with a few signings, with the improvement these are making, in the next couple of years we want to do that. Supporters and the club alike are not happy with not challenging for the top position in the league. That is where we feel we should be and many of today’s supporters have lived that period where we won the league consistently

[The FA Cup, Carabao Cup and Europa League – is the club’s only chance at silverware this term] At the moment we don’t have that type of team. Because in time we’ve been a bit behind the top ones. It might be that we start with winning a cup and then these players will get that taste. That is not what we want to be. We want to be challenging for the league and the Champions League

2020 01 14b Retrieve

[The region’s warm weather is often seen as an ideal climate for footballers to rejuvenate and break up the European winter. But Recent political drama between Iran and the United States has, however, seen the Red Devils rule out a potential trip to the Middle East] Yeah, if there is one thing that worries me it’s not on the football pitch. There are other things that will worry me more than football. We were looking at the Middle East but that is definitely not going to happen. I am going to give [the players] a few days off. I don’t know where they will all scatter around but we will stay in Europe. This mid-season break will be very important for everyone and we have five or six games until then. We are just going to stick at it and hang in there until then, and get the performances and results and results we hope we are going to get. And get some vitamin D and get ready for the last three months

2020 01 14c Retrieve

[Man Utd boss Solskjaer says Mason Greenwood England call-up for Euro 2020 is too early] I think Mason will have a top career and a long career, let the boy settle in now before we talk about England or the Euros. His focus has to be just on playing more for us and improving. When he plays well for us, that will happen by itself. He’s been picked for England’s Under-21s lately. He’s just focusing on his football

[The Red Devils have endured a frustrating 2019-20 season so far] It’s our 14th game in 45 days. We’ve still got five or six games before the winter break - it’s relentless - 18 games in 63 days which is physically and mentally demanding. We have to energise them. Bad results have to be used as a motivation, as in we’re not there yet but need to keep improving. We just need the rhythm. When I was playing I felt we got rhythm of match, rest, match, rest

2020 01 14d Retrieve

[Solskjaer swerves Bruno Fernandes question but says Man Utd have January transfer funds] For me, the most important thing is we get results sorted, get performances on the pitch, that has got to be my focus. But I know we’ve got the resources, we’ve got the backing if we need to go into the transfer market. We are still up there, so still in a good place

[when quizzed again on efforts to land Fernandes] I’ve got no transfer updates, so no. If we get something that we can tell you about we will but I’ve got no news now

2020 01 15 Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed Rashford would be assessed by the club’s medical team and admitted to taking a risk in bringing his star attacker on to try to win the game] Yes [the substitution] backfired. You’ve got to take [a chance] once in a while. He’ll be tested in the next few days - we have to see for Sunday. He couldn’t run. He struggled a little bit with his back and got another knock. It didn’t help

2020 01 16 Retrieve

[Solskjaer hopeful Rashford could face Liverpool after injury in Man Utd win] He’s a quick healer and he’ll play through some pain, definitely, if he’s capable, if it’s not a bad, bad injury. But we’ve seen that he’s struggled lately - but more when he’s been tired. He wasn’t on long enough to be tired so I think it might have been something that just happened there and then. He’s been absolutely top this season so we’ll do everything we can to get him fit for Sunday. If he’s not then we’ll play without him

[United were already without key midfield duo Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba, as well as defenders Eric Bailly and Luke Shaw on Wednesday, yet Solskjaer was not about to bemoan an increasing casualty list] It’s football, I’ll never ever complain about all the injuries we’ve got. That’s just part and parcel of it and at the moment that’s Marcus. He’s been available and fit all season so you can’t complain

[Solskjaer is therefore confident his team will have a game plan to make life difficult for Jurgen Klopp’s Reds] Of course it’s hard but I’ve had Liverpool here twice and we’ve drawn both. Of course we want to win those but I think we’ve found a nice way of playing against them and we’ve deserved the points in both of them

2020 01 17 Retrieve

[Maguire named Man Utd captain to replace Inter-bound Young] Harry is wearing the captain’s armband and will keep wearing it. He’s been a leader in the group. I’ve been, not surprised, but impressed by his leadership skills, so he will continue wearing the armband. He’s come in and everything about him tells me he’s a leader. He’s part of a group that we’ve had that have been leading this young group. Ashley Young has been, David de Gea, Marcus Rashford, Harry, so Harry will keep on wearing the armband.

[Solskjaer has praised the 34-year-old for his contribution over eight-and-a-half years and wishes him well in a new challenge at San Siro] To be fair, I think it was for Ashley, he’s 35 in the summer and if he gets a two-year contract somewhere, I think it’s up to him to take that. We were ready to offer that, he’s been a good servant, captain, won trophies, league cups, but we’ve got players coming through

[Solskjaer said when asked if he will seek cover for Young] Timothy Fosu-Mensah is coming back as well, he’s a right-back and played for Holland as a right-back aged 19. We want him back, Diogo [Dalot] is back fit but the full-back position we’re quite ok

2020 01 17b Retrieve

[Solskjaer backs Rashford, Martial & Greenwood up to be Man Utd’s new Ronaldo, Tevez & Rooney] We can see them three, got them on long contracts, and can see them three developing into a very exciting front three. I was here with Ronaldo, Tevez, Rooney - that’s what we want as supporters and manager, express yourselves, put the fear to their defenders. We’ve got Daniel James here as well so I am very excited for it.

I believe in ours, going to add to them, definitely, but in the years coming we’ll see lots of them. Liverpool have scored more goals than us outside the front three so I’m not going to say ours are better or theirs are better. Sunday will be a game by itself

The front three they’ve [Liverpool] got have been playing together for ages, seasons now, and you can see the rotation movements, understanding and we hope our front three will get that understanding. I think I’ve only started them together once in the Premier League [in a 4-1 win over Newcastle], so we’ve got a way to go to get the understanding but they scored four goals in that game

2020 01 17c Retrieve

[Solskjaer: Man Utd can’t go 30 years without a Premier League title like Liverpool] That’s what we’re working hard to make sure doesn’t happen. Let [Liverpool] be a lesson for us. We can’t let ourselves go another 24 years without winning the league. I believe in this club. We will get there

[Solskjaer is under no illusions as to where his club sit in the Premier League pecking order in the short term] The proof is in the league table. Liverpool have been the best team in the league. Man City gives you a different challenge to what Liverpool does, two very different ways of playing football. I’ve had both wins and defeats there at Anfield as a player so you’ve got to look forward to these games. It’s a great challenge for our players to play against the leaders of the league. We’ve done well the last couple of times but away at Anfield is another matter. You can make sure you enjoy it but it can also be an intimidating place. We’ve got to prepare as well as we can

2020 01 17d Retrieve

[Solskjaer issues update on Rashford’s availability for Man Utd’s game at Liverpool] I can’t tell you now. As I said with Harry Maguire a few weeks ago, of course we’re going to give him the absolute amount of time to find out. We’re going to do some more checks and treatment with him today. Yesterday of course was just a recovery day anyway and some treatment for him. I haven’t seen him this morning, but I’m not going to hold my breath. I would probably think that he wouldn’t be ready, but let’s see. There’s still 48 hours, more than that, so let’s see

2020 01 19 Retrieve

[Solskjaer says Manchester United defender Luke Shaw is potentially one of the best left-backs in England] When this situation came up, and the options we’ve got at full-back - you’ve got Brandon Williams who has really come through and developed. Aaron Wan-Bissaka has been fantastic. Luke Shaw is potentially one of the best left-backs in England, for me. Then we’ve got Diogo Dalot and Tim Fosu-Mensah, they’re both fit. You’ve got loads of full-backs. Ashley’s mindset was that he wanted to try a new adventure and he’s approaching 35 now. He’s done a fantastic job and he’s served this club fantastically. I think it was an opportunity for him that we had to say yes to. We got a transfer fee for someone who’s been so loyal to the club. Good luck. That’s what Manchester United do, you have players for a long time and then they move on and someone else steps in

[Solskjaer will wait until the last minute before making a final decision on the Marcus Rashford’s fitness] We’ve got so many games to come. We’ll give him the time he needs to give him a chance for Liverpool because it’s a big game and Marcus wants to play in the big games. Let’s see

2020 01 19b Retrieve

[Manchester United boss Solskjaer out to emulate Klopp’s Liverpool success] He’s a great manager and he’s done a great job. He did a rebuilding job and he started almost from scratch

We’ve started something, we want to get back to challenging for the league. They are now challenging for the league, so well done. He’s a very nice man, as well. He’s a good manager and, of course, we do respect them. They have proven with their results and performances that they do deserve that respect. I think we’ve shown them in the games that I’ve been here that we do prepare very well

[Solskjaer is taking confidence from the draw at Old Trafford three months ago] As a manager, I’ve had Liverpool on the opposite side twice and we’ve had different ways of approaching it. Just go there and have the confidence, the courage and the arrogance - in a good way. Go there and believe in yourself. Handle the crowd, handle your team-mates. There are going to be tackles flying in - it’s a local derby. Just win your individual battles and stay emotionally in the game. Control yourselves and just play the game

2020 01 19c Retrieve

[Man Utd suffered against Liverpool ‘long balls’] It doesn’t matter whether the scoreline is a fair reflection of the game. They won it. We had chances and they had chances. It’s about taking the moment. We had some big chances but Liverpool will say they deserved to win. They are the most direct team in the league. They put you under so much pressure and I thought our defenders and midfielders handled it well.

When the long balls go for Mane, Salah and Firmino, then it is very difficult as they always look to go in behind you. The last 10-15 minutes we really pressed them back and made them look tired and us look really fit. We looked strong. But we didn’t have that quality. When you don’t have that quality in the last pass and finish then you aren’t going to get anything from places like this

[The Norwegian singled out Van Dijk after the defender left the Reds reeling with a brilliant effort to put Liverpool in the ascendancy] We don’t like to concede from set-pieces. [The first goal] didn’t go to plan. You have to [close] against Virgil as he is one of the best headers of the ball. When he gets a free run that’s never easy to defend against. It’s disappointing. Conceding from the last kick of the game is also disappointing but we had to send everybody up by then after half-an-hour building pressure

2020 01 19d Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer suggested after Sunday’s game that they could be forced to look for a short-term replacement in the transfer market this month] We’ve had many injuries for big players this season. It’s just an unfortunate situation we’re in. We might look at some short term deals as well that could take us through to the summer. We don’t desperately need a striker, if the right one is there and it fits for us… we’ve got players who are champing at the bit

2020 01 19e Retrieve

[Rashford ruled out for at least six weeks with back stress fracture to compound Man Utd woes] He’s suffered a bad injury. It’s a [back] stress fracture, it happened against Wolves. It’s not happened before, it happened there and then. He’ll be out for a while. He won’t be back until after the mid-season break. [It’s] normally six weeks to heal, but I’m not a doctor, and then he needs rehab after that probably

We’ve had many injuries for big players this season. It’s just an unfortunate situation we’re in. We might look at some short-term deals as well that could take us through to the summer. We don’t desperately need a striker, if the right one is there and it fits for us […] [but] we’ve got players who are chomping at the bit

2020 01 19f Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Liverpool are not the greatest team in Premier League history] If you are taking the long view, the very best teams are the ones who can do it again and again and again. No one really matches Sir Alex in that respect but I would be the first to admit Jurgen Klopp has done a great job at Liverpool. At the moment he seems to know what he’s going to get every time he puts a team out, though we are only just past halfway through the season and there are still a lot of games to go.

If you look at Liverpool now, they have 33 wins and five draws from their last 38 [league] games. That’s 104 points, so it would have been a more than decent season. They are doing well, to say the least, and could win a treble this season but let’s see where they are in May. They have a couple of difficult games coming up

United have a really good football team, talented and experienced. There is a lot of good potential on the pitch. I think they will probably qualify for the Champions League this season. So, of course they can beat us. But they can only play as good as we let them play. If we are at our best it’s difficult for every team. It’s our stadium so we have to make sure everybody knows that

2020 01 20 Retrieve

[The Red Devils were without top scorer Marcus Rashford, who had been sent on as a substitute just days earlier to try to salvage a result against Wolves] Rashford will be out for a while. He got a new injury against Wolves. We’ll not see him for a little while. We’re always looking at chances to improve the squad – with Marcus out for a while we have to look at it closely. We’ve had many injuries for big players this season. It’s just an unfortunate situation we’re in. We might look at some short term deals as well that could take us through to the summer. We don’t desperately need a striker, if the right one is there and it fits for us […] we’ve got players who are champing at the bit

2020 01 21 Retrieve

[Man Utd boss Solskjaer can’t guarantee Rashford return before season’s end] Marcus is going to get as long as he needs to get fit. We are not going to risk him when he’s had an injury. I have got the best medical staff in the country and I am sure when Marcus comes back he will be 100 per cent fit

I never put myself before the team. I always put the team and the club before anything else. What we’ve discussed before here with Marcus, he’s had minor discomfort in his back since the Burnley game (on December 28). That’s maybe two weeks before this game. We’ve had scans, we’ve monitored him. There’s not been any injury there. He’s had complaints, yeah. I had a discussion and conversation with him the day before or two days before. ‘FA Cup, I’m going to rest you’. He felt fine. He was very, very adamant that if needed he could at least do half an hour because we want to go through in the Cup because it’s a big tournament for us. That just shows you Marcus’ attitude

2020 01 21b Retrieve

[Solskjaer open to signing cover for Rashford amid talk of Man Utd interest in Cavani] He [Rashford] won’t be fit for this game that’s for sure he will be out for a while, he’ll get the time he needs to recover. We’re always looking at improving the squad and seeing if there’s anything out there but nothing I can talk about now

Rashford’s not had that injury before, no. He complained a little bit after Burnley, he felt it the first time, and we managed him as well as we could then, he had some days off for treatment, taken off in games and suddenly this was a new injury. He didn’t have any injuries before then. Marcus is good, he’s a positive guy and he knows this is not what he wanted but he’s always positive, he wants to get back as quickly and safely as possible and we’ll give him that time. When he feels ready and medically cleared he’ll be back

2020 01 21c Retrieve

[Solskjaer claims Man Utd made ‘strides forward’ in 2-0 defeat to Liverpool] For me now, we’ve lost to Liverpool, a team that you all say are fantastic and we’ve been in the game until the last kick of the ball. And, for me, that’s strides forward. And, of course, we’re disappointed in losing the game. We don’t want to be behind them in the league, but there were signs there that we are on the right track, definitely. And, for me, now is not the time to speak about recruitment. We’re looking to the next game against Burnley. We’re always looking to improve the squad and to improve the club but for my mind, now is not the time, Gary, to start this discussion. You can look back at history and, of course, we know we’re not where we want to be and should be and historically where we have been. It’s just down to us now to work better. I’ve been here 13 months, my experience with the players we’ve brought in has been good, so no complaints whatsoever

[Solskjaer has been in the Old Trafford dugout for over a year now] It always is at Manchester United that we want to win and are disappointed we didn’t. We go to a hard ground and we’re in the game until the last kick of the ball, we looked like getting something from it. Proud we never gave in. Hung in at times but we played well. Stuff to look back at and think we’re getting closer

2020 01 22 Retrieve

[Solskjaer hints more Man Utd players to leave after Burnley reverse] We are looking to improve, we have got our targets. This is our second defeat at home and first since August. I thought we had turned that corner. We have started a clear-out and now I am going to be answering these questions until it [transfer window] closes. We are working on things. For me the most important thing is we have to perform on the pitch. Tonight wasn’t good enough for a Manchester United team

[Solskjaer defends his charges from the most vehement critics, pointing out that many of the United side are still adapting to the club] We have got to hold our hands up and say it wasn’t good enough. In the first half we created some half openings but we were not sharp enough to take our chances. They were clinical and efficient and defended well. we couldn’t open them up.

The boys have given everything they have got but they are experiencing this period for the first time in their lives. When you are at Manchester United you are playing at the biggest and best club in the world. Some of them have played 10, 12, 15 games and it’s not easy for them.

I’m going to back them and help them get through this. We can’t do anything but hold our hands up and say it’s not good enough. You can talk about it all day long and we are disappointed with our points tally. We work every single day for these boys to improve and perform better than this

2020 01 22b Retrieve

[Solskjaer claims Man Utd rejected Haaland because club ‘had to be in control’, not agent Raiola] It is important that we use common sense. There are other things too when you sign players, that you have to keep in control. You can’t give agents the control by giving buyout clauses and stuff. That has been touted around, that is for me, we have to be in control

2020 01 23 Retrieve

[Solskjaer was quizzed on his recruitment plans after coming unstuck against the Clarets] This is our second defeat at home and first since August. I thought we had turned that corner. We have started a clear-out and now I am going to be answering these questions until it [transfer window] closes. We are working on things. For me the most important thing is we have to perform on the pitch. Tonight wasn’t good enough for a Manchester United team

We are working to improve and get players in, and hopefully we can get something over the line. I think everybody can see these players are being stretched, they are stretched, and I’ve got absolutely no complaints on any of them because they give absolutely everything they’ve got. I’m responsible for what’s happening on the pitch and of course we’re looking to strengthen. We know we have to strengthen. We took that decision that some of these players, we let them go, because we needed to start afresh with a clear sight on target in front of us and that means a certain type of player in the squad and, yes, we know we have to get quality in and numbers in

2020 01 23b Retrieve

[How long will Rashford be out for?] He’s suffered a bad injury. It’s a [back] stress fracture, it happened against Wolves. It’s not happened before, it happened there and then. He’ll be out for a while. He won’t be back until after the mid-season break. [It’s] normally six weeks to heal, but I’m not a doctor, and then he needs rehab after that probably

2020 01 24 Retrieve

[The initial treatment period for Marcus Rashford’s injury is six weeks] He’ll be out for a while. He won’t be back until after the mid-season break. [It’s] normally six weeks to heal, but I’m not a doctor, and then he needs rehab after that probably

2020 01 24b Retrieve

[Solskjaer delivered an update on the club’s transfer plans] It is stretched but we’re getting players back after the break, so we will be better off for it. We’re still working on one or two things so let’s see if the club get it over the line

[Victor Lindelof was also forced to miss United’s 2-0 home defeat against Burnley on Wednesday] Victor has recovered so he’s well again, so let’s see how well he feels today and tomorrow and apart from that no one has got any knocks that are anything to think about

2020 01 24c Retrieve

[Solskjaer urges patience with Man Utd rebuild] For me, we do have a way of doing things, you can see other teams have done well. You can see Jurgen spent four years building his team and they’re doing well now, it’s not going to be a quick fix, and it’s not eight or 10 players in one transfer window, we’ve had one proper transfer window and we are trying to do something now. When you start on something you stick to that plan. I’m not going to change six or eight, or nine or 10 months into the job and start believing in a different way. I’m going to stick to what I’ve been trusted to do by the club and hopefully that’ll be good enough, that what we can see is right. All my conversations with the club have been positive

[Solskjaer added on the project he was handed when succeeding Jose Mourinho in December 2018] I think our fans know what we have started on and I’ve been trusted to do that job and that rebuild doesn’t go one way all the time, it doesn’t just go we’re doing great, we’re doing great, said it so many times. The foundation has to be laid and the culture has to be properly set and laid down and this group is a good core of players that believe in themselves and what we’re doing to carry us forward with signings and players coming back. You need to knock the house down, you don’t just start with the roof, we’ve had some rainy days and wish that roof was on, but we can’t hide

On the training ground the mood is still good, everyone’s down because we don’t win. It’s understandable sometimes supporters air frustrations and the last week has been two disappointing results that has probably enhanced that feeling. But, for us, you get used to it at this club. You get used to the ups and downs and as we’ve spoken about here you’ve got to get on with it, when you do badly you know you’ve got a job to do. Of course we can go again, you’ve just got to get onto it, onto the next one with the right mentality, you’re disappointed and down, I’m not going to lie, it’s not been nice losing two games but you spend an hour or two and get over it

2020 01 25 Retrieve

[Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he doesn’t fear for his job ahead of a potentially dangerous FA Cup fixture against Tranmere Rovers] I have not seen many of my players getting their hoods up, hiding and trying to disappear.

I can see loads of players that want this to be a success. We have open discussions behind doors but we are not going to hang people out to dry. That is just common sense because if I point a finger at you, more fingers get pointed back at me.

We have to spend wisely, that’s one of the keys for me. We’ve spent loads of money in the past five or six seasons, since Sir Alex left, and I’ve got to make sure with the club that when we spend the money now it’s on the right types. When we sat down we all agreed, the club and I, that the culture had to change.

It’s not like I’ve been told without my consent what we’re doing, because we agreed to things when we signed contracts. I don’t fear for my position in that respect, I just keep working. Of course you need results but I won’t spend big money on someone to come in here now if they’re not right for the club.

It’s a skill to look yourself in the mirror sometimes and not just blame others. Some of us do blame others, some of us do think we’re better than others. I believe in the structure that’s been put in behind here in the time I’ve been here

I have not thought, ‘Oh, I wish I had kept him.’ Some of those we let go were not right for the culture I was trying to build. That is why we kept the players we know will run through a brick wall for the club - not everyone did

2020 01 26 Retrieve

[Solskjaer warns his players for playing against Tranmere Rovers] The pitch is not great but that’s the same for both of us. The players just have to be focused and ready. There are divots everywhere. So everyone has just got to be focused, both for injuries but also, of course, the bounce of the ball

2020 01 26b Retrieve

[Solskjaer defiant after FA Cup triumph] We’ve just got to stay together and keep working. Try to win the next one and the one after that and then we’ll get our players back. You can see everyone wanted us to fail but it doesn’t bother me. I can’t be up and down [emotionally]. I’m happy but won’t relax. Two big games coming up

A lot has been said and written about this pitch. We played it well. We didn’t want to make it a long-ball fight because that’s not the game we wanted. We put the ball down and scored nice goals. We have good footballers. They give everything in every game. [Tranmere] had the boost of going through, at home, put a couple of balls down channels with corners and set-plays. But when you score two or three goals in quick succession, it’s sit down and enjoy the game and let the players enjoy it. Brilliant. It’s important we spread [the goals] through the team. We’ve lost Marcus [Rashford] for a little while. Our two strikers scored – a confidence boost for everyone

2020 01 28 Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Paul Pogba is desperate to return from injury for Manchester United once again] I don’t think Pogba is on his way back. Even if he is on way back, he’ll be moaning about something else to try to not play - try to get his move away from the club.

Paul has had a terrible season with injuries and he is desperate to play football. So if there is one thing I know about Paul it’s that he loves playing football and training, and it’s been playing on his mind. Anyone who is injured, you cannot wait to get back on the pitch, and you feel so free and he has been playing with pain so I am sure when he is pain and injury free he will enjoy his football. I see a boy who is fed up with being injured and who is desperate to play football. Paul has always been a top professional so I don’t have any doubts that when he comes back he is going to enjoy himself

[Scott McTominay also having had his leg brace removed] It will definitely help us because they played so well, they have been fantastic for us. Scott has had a fantastic season for us until he got injured and Paul has proven before how good he is. Fred and Nemanja Vidic have been absolutely terrific for us the last few months because they have had to play every game. I think they will have a word in the say and they are not just going to come and take our places, we want to play

2020 01 28b Retrieve

[Pogba free of cast & stepping up Man Utd recovery as McTominay also prepares for training return] It’s hard to put timescales on long-term injuries because they also need the training before being injury free and need to be fitter. Paul Pogba’s had his cast off and Scott took his brace off so at least they can now start doing some work on the grass. Just Nemanja Matic got a slight problem, so he had to come off at half-time [against Tranmere] and has played loads of football so hopefully we can get him back on the pitch tomorrow.

[Manchester united currently trail a Carabao Cup semi-final 3-1 from the first leg] Well it looked like it was over at half-time. I have to say the second part of that first half they outplayed us for a while and it’s hard, but then we got the goal, back in it. We hoped for another one but have got to go into the memory bank and think PSG. We have done it against good teams before and that gives us hope and the game in December gives us hope

[Solskjaer added, with the Red Devils having collected a 2-1 Premier League victory at the Etihad Stadium in December] They’re getting players back as well, we hit them last time when they were struggling a bit and since then they’ve played really well. We’ve lost Scott and Marcus [Rashford] since that game, a little bit lighter in the playing department. We can’t just defend, we have to try keep the ball and make them run after the ball. Perfect performance it has to be but, we’ve done amazing things before at this club and the PSG game is for me a very, very good example of how you can make a two-goal deficit work in your favour. We need the first goal

2020 01 28c Retrieve

[Solskjaer hints Sanchez still has big role to play for Man Utd] Alexis Sanchez will come back in the summer and will prove youse all wrong. We’ve got players here that we’re working hard to get back as well and if there is something out there then the club is pursuing that and it’s difficult. I can’t remember how many good ones we’ve brought in and were good deals in January. Henrik Larsson was good, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra […] it’s hard, very hard, the clubs don’t want to lose their best players

[United lost the first leg 3-1 at Old Trafford and will need to produce a repeat of their performance in a 2-1 away win] They’re getting players back as well, we hit them last time when they were struggling a bit and since then they’ve played really well. We’ve lost Scott and Marcus since that game, we’re a little bit lighter in the playing department. We can’t just defend, we have to try to keep the ball and make them run after the ball. It has to be a perfect performance but we’ve done amazing things before at this club and the PSG game is a very, very good example of how you can make a two-goal deficit work in your favour. We need the first goal

2020 01 29 Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has slammed Manchester United fans involved in the attack on Ed Woodward’s house] I’ve got to say that everyone at the club, proper supporters are disgusted at what happened. You know our fans are passionate and opinions can be voiced in different ways but I’ve said it before: we have got to stick together, stay united and I’m sure our fans will support us tonight [against Manchester City].

[United have announced an agreement with Sporting C.P. to sign long-term target Bruno Fernandes] We’ve agreed with the club now, so hopefully we can announce it very soon that the deal’s through, so that’s exciting.

[Asked what he thought his players needed to do to book a place at Wembley for the final with Aston Villa] We need to score two more goals than them at least. We’ve done it before, last year. We need a really good performance; we need to match our performance here about six weeks ago when we played well here and won. PSG away is always a good memory for these boys to look back and think about, but we know we’re going to need a proper performance with and without the ball. We’ll have to throw loads of energy at it. We need more courage, we need to be better on the ball, because last time we were here we countered really well. We should have scored four or five, but I don’t think it will be that type of game. Of course, they are two up, they can be happy with keeping the ball

2020 01 29b Retrieve

[Solskjaer slams Matic red card as Man Utd fall short in Carabao Cup semi-final] It’s hard to come here and score a goal with 11 men, never mind 10. So it was never a sending off, absolute joke for me. It’s ironic really he gets a yellow card for his first foul, almost gets a yellow on his second foul which isn’t even a foul and then the second one, the last one, is a yellow but nowhere near [a red card]. How many times did they foul us? How many times was Dan James fouled? How many in the first half on Jesse [Lingard]?

It’s the first question you’ve asked and it shouldn’t be because I’m so proud of these players. They’ve beaten City now twice in six weeks at their place. We’ve come so far with these boys, they’ve given absolutely everything.

We wanted to be in the game with five minutes to go. That has to be your game plan when you’re 2-0 down. We’ve done that before and when we got that one [goal] we just needed a moment and unfortunately we couldn’t capitalise. These boys have come a long way. They’ve developed. Second half showed as well that even though we didn’t create too many big, clear cut chances, we pressed them back, we had spells where they were defended deep which pleased me

2020 01 30 Retrieve

[Marcos Rojo seals Man Utd exit and returns to Estudiantes on short-term loan deal] I wouldn’t think so. Marcos has been injured and has been working to get back and get fit again. At the moment it doesn’t look like it, no.

2020 01 30b Retrieve

[Bruno Fernandes completes €55m Man Utd move] We have been tracking Bruno Fernandes for many months and everyone here has been tremendously impressed with all his attributes and what he will bring to this team. Most importantly he is a terrific human being with a great personality and his leadership qualities are clear for all to see. Bruno’s goals and assists stats speak for themselves, he will be a fantastic addition to our team and he will help us push on in the second part of the season. The winter break is coming at a perfect time for us to integrate Bruno into the squad and for him to get to know his team-mates

We need more goalscorers, more goals, someone who wants to break their nose or toe to score. It doesn’t always have to be nice goals. I need to challenge them more

2020 01 30c Retrieve

[Solskjaer explains Lingard Manchester derby exchange] Just heat of the moment, once in a while. When you lose the ball, make sure we try to play more. And in the next moment him and Victor Lindelof grew in confidence and started playing. Once in a while you’re going to make mistakes but if you’re going to come here and just defend you’ve got no chance. Yes, we created one or two dangerous moments with the way we tried to play our way out, but that’s the way we want the box to express themselves. We have to do that to release the pressure

2020 01 30d Retrieve

[Solskjaer explains why Fred took Man Utd’s late free-kick in Carabao Cup semi-final] Juan is the best one when he feels like it. But they practiced yesterday and Juan told me that Fred was unbelievable in training. He scored six or seven on the bounce apparently, and they both felt this was his moment. That was the decision they made there and then. Probably the right decision, but it didn’t work out well

2020 01 30e Retrieve

[Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes the club needs more goalscorers willing to break their nose or toe to score] We need more goalscorers, more goals, someone who wants to break their nose or toe to score. It doesn’t always have to be nice goals. I need to challenge them more

[Solskjaer said of Fernandes] Let’s get the contract signed and medical done first, but the boy is fit and ready to play, I would presume

2020 01 31 Retrieve

[Manchester United have signed attacker Odion Ighalo on loan from Shanghai Shenhua until the end of the season] Odion is an experienced player. He will come in and give us an option of a different type of centre-forward for the short spell he’s staying with us. A great lad and very professional, he will make the most of his time here

2020 01 31b Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has told Manchester United supporters to expect Bruno Fernandes to be more of a midfielder in the mould of Paul Scholes than of Cristiano Ronaldo] Cristiano Ronaldo is unique. We hope that Bruno will have a fantastic career at Man United, but to start comparing him with Cristiano isn’t fair on the boy.

He is a goal-scoring and assisting midfielder, a little bit like Paul Scholes. He can strike a ball fantastically. He has got such a wonderful technique, but he also is going to get assists from set-plays and from his range of passes.

He is a similar type to Scholesy - fiery, passionate, hates losing and he’s got the same number on the back of the shirt. I think he is another piece in the jigsaw. I’m sure he will give us that X-factor we’ve been missing at times this year. He can do absolutely everything. He’s my size so he probably isn’t a target man in the box, but he is such a good footballer. He can play in a three-man midfield, as a No.10, off the side and in a diamond. We’ll give him time to find his best position. He’s fit to play and he will definitely be in the squad. He’s had a few hectic days now - his little daughter was three-years-old yesterday - so I don’t know how much he will be involved

2020 01 31c Retrieve

[Man Utd expecting Marcos Rojo return as Solskjaer keeps door open for Argentine defender] Marcos is a lovely lad, he’s got the fire in his belly, he’s a winner and he wasn’t getting enough football here. It was important for him to start playing. He wants to come back a fitter and better player, hopefully having played well for Estudiantes and helped Seba [Veron] and his club, and gone to the Copa America. So that was something we just had to do

He was in the away end against City, he was there at Liverpool. He’s such a passionate guy and he wants to support this team

2020 01 31d Retrieve

[Solskjaer not expecting any more new signings at Man Utd] I’m not sure, I don’t expect any more business to be done. I don’t think anything is going to happen. Sometimes I say something here and something else happens, sometimes I say I’m happy with a player and he gets a different message, so I don’t want to help or make speculations grow more and more today. I expect nothing to happen, but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen

I am happy with the ones I have here. And with Bruno coming in we can play in a different way maybe. And of course with the centre-backs coming back lately and what we’ve done with three at the back, that might be an option to tactically change a bit

[Solskjaer confirmed new signing Bruno Fernandes will be part of the squad to face Wolves on Saturday] He’s fit enough to play and he will be involved, definitely he’ll be in the squad. Let’s get training out of the way today. He has had, of course, a few hectic days now, and even his daughter’s third birthday yesterday. I don’t know how much he’ll be involved, but he’ll be in the squad. He is a winner, he hates losing. I have seen him myself, he uses that anger in a good way, to play better and help team-mates. He was a fantastic captain for Sporting and he will be a leader here as well

2020 02 01 Retrieve

[Solskjaer vows tired Man Utd stars will improve] It was a game as you expected really. We dominated the game, had loads of possession, they gave us problems on counter-attacks and set plays. We’ve played so many games in the past few months the players are down to the bare bones, energy levels are down and they need a break. I’m very happy with my boys. Today was also about all the games we’ve played with the energy that we’ve spent. They’ve been absolutely top. That’s [lack of goals scored] also energy. We do lack that little spark in the last third … give us this break and we’ll start scoring goals

[Solskjaer has faith in his new arrival, whom he tipped to lend a hand to struggling Anthony Martial] Odion Ighalo’s a goalscorer, a very good goalscorer. Physical presence in the box and we could’ve helped Anthony Martial. First half Anthony was isolated. We didn’t get any runs in and around him and it’s frustrating to be a striker

2020 02 01b Retrieve

[Solskjaer explains why Bruno Fernandes failed to make big impact on Man Utd debut] We got Bruno deeper on the ball for us. I felt we controlled the first half as well. In the second half we threatened a little bit more. I feel the ground staff must have moved the goal slightly to the right!

Bruno is a top player. It’s the first game. First half everyone was getting the ball into feet and Bruno is one of those who, when he gets it into feet, he wants players moving in front of him and we didn’t move enough in front of him. We moved him further back to get him on the ball more. He’ll be a top, top addition

2020 02 01c Retrieve

[Solskjaer delights with Ighalo signing: He’s a Man Utd fan & will give absolutely everything] In Odion we will get a proper man, a great lad, a good goalscorer. It’s not long ago he was top scorer in the African Cup of Nations. I know him from way back when he was playing in Norway 10-12 years ago, his career has developed since then and he gives us a different option up front. I’m delighted that he wanted to come for a few months. It’s from now until the end of the season on loan and it’s great to have him around. He’s a Man United fan and he’ll give everything, on and off the pitch

2020 02 01d Retrieve

[Bruno Fernandes has been slotted straight into the Manchester United starting XI] We’ve followed Bruno Fernandes for a long while and he’s finally here. He’s an absolute top player, top human being. Professional, winner, hates losing. So we’re really looking forward to seeing him on the pitch. Of course, we’ll have to give him time. It always takes time to settle into a new team and a new country, but he’ll get the time and the chance now to build his career

Leadership qualities, high energy, technical qualities. He can see a pass. He scores, he assists. He’s a very, very good all-round footballer. Scholesy was unbelievable and let’s hope Bruno can just enjoy playing football at Man United. I’m sure he will. He’s a boy that loves football and that’s one of the biggest things. You can see he plays with a smile on his face, but he’s also determined. A bit Scholesy-ish, actually

2020 02 02 Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has defended Anthony Martial following recent performances] He’s giving us everything. I think he’s started the last eight games in this month, and he’s running probably 20 per cent more than what he did when I came here.

That shift goes with all the other players as well, by the way. So it’s not just mental robustness and tactical, it’s that physical side we’ve had to work with, because they are making strides. But the difference in that, compared to when I came in, the squad weren’t right.

Well we’ll give him [Martial] more support, give him rest when he deserves it. If he does have that rest, if he plays a little bit less - because he’s been asked to play too much as well, especially now when Marcus is injured - as a striker, if you don’t just get there that split second, that’s a big, massive difference. I’ve praised him, I’ve sat down with him and I’m delighted with him. I know that he’s tired, but he’s never ever dodged a training session. He’s training, he’s available for every game, so I’m delighted with the boy

Anthony Martial has come to Manchester United and the big strikers score in the big moments, but his miss sums up his career at the club - excellent build-up play, but you have to hit the target. No excuses. The big strikers who are remembered by the supporters hit the target and the back of the net, and that’s why that guy is not quite good enough for Manchester United. That moment summed him up

2020 02 03 Retrieve

[Solskjaer encouraged after tearing ‘house down’ in Man Utd rebuild] I’ve been asked to do this job. I think the fans see what we’re trying to do and it had to be done. As I’ve said last week, three weeks ago, four weeks ago, five weeks ago - it’s a rebuild. You had to tear the house down and you had to get players out that weren’t here in their minds. We’ve got players here now who will go that extra yard, that culture I want to set, that’s the Man United culture. I know we’re not in the Sir Alex Ferguson era, but the players that we have, they have the right mentality and they’re good personalities. That, for me, is the first tick. You don’t stay here if you don’t give everything to this team

Of course, we are a different squad to the championship-winning squad that Sir Alex Ferguson had. You can’t expect this group of players now – they haven’t had that experience of winning and having that, but that will come in the next few years, definitely. That’s what we’re working for and that’s why those players are here, because I can see the Man United character in them

2020 02 04 Retrieve

[Man Utd hand loan signing Odion Ighalo No.25 shirt] He is a different type of striker and he is a proven goalscorer. He has a physical presence. Also, he gives us a chance to rest Mason and Anthony. We have so many games to come. We want to go far in the Europa League and FA Cup and we have league games to go so it was important we had another type of striker to use

2020 02 04b Retrieve

[Ighalo signing could put Anthony Martial’s Man Utd future under threat] Anthony Martial’s giving us everything. I think he’s started the last seven games in this month, and he’s running probably 20 per cent more than what he did when I came here. As a striker, if you don’t just get there in that split second, that’s a big, massive difference, and I’ve praised him, I’ve sat down with him and I’m delighted with him. I know that he’s tired, but he’s never ever - how do you say it […] dodged a training session. He’s training, he’s available for every game. [I’m] delighted with the boy

2020 02 08 Retrieve

[McTominay boost for Man Utd as midfielder to join squad for Spain training camp] Scotty has done better in his recovery than we thought, so we will take him with us. Hopefully he can join in the training sessions and Axel as well, he’ll join in, so that’s two positives and it’s a good chance for them to use this time with the players

Marcus and Paul are not ready yet to join in the training. Lee Grant unfortunately has had an injury, so he will require surgery, so he will be out for two or three months, so hopefully he’ll get back before the end of the season

I’ve kept in touch with [Fernandes]. He’s had a few days back home to organise. He’s going to have to move and say his goodbyes back home, so he’s ready. He wasn’t 100 per cent happy with his debut and there’s more to come, so that’s a good sign

2020 02 11 Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed that Odion Ighalo will be included in Manchester United’s squad to face Chelsea next Monday] Yeah, he is going to travel with us. We will just see his fitness work this week and I think we will get him sharp. We want to integrate him as quickly as we can because, of course, he is desperate to play for us

[When asked how the rest of the squad have been progressing in Spain] Yeah, it’s very good. I think the boys enjoyed a break, they needed a break, but now they are back, focused and they have been working well. Of course with the weather back home as well, this has been an even bigger plus for us. Being in Europe, because the travel isn’t too far, is also a good point because we don’t have too many days before we have to go back and get ready for Chelsea

2020 02 11b Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Bruno Fernandes has a brain quicker than others] Well, overall, he is a very, very good footballer and his brain is obviously quicker than many others. He has got loads of attributes that we are going to get used to. We will get used to him and he will get used to us. His passing range, his deliveries, his movements, I am just pleased to see him here enjoying himself. Yeah, he trains and he trains and he trains, so his fitness levels and enthusiasm is brilliant

I hope that we will see some of them before the end of this week, but next week will be a big week for them as well to get them match fit, so hopefully we can get them back on the pitch with their kit on soon

It is a long season. Overall, during every season, every team has injuries and we have been hit badly this year and we have felt the lack of numbers. But when everyone is back, the competition for every place is big and hopefully we will have two games every week. We want to go through in the Europa League, we want to go through in the FA Cup and, of course, the league is important, so we need players to rotate with

2020 02 14 Retrieve

[Solskjaer backing Odion Ighalo to hit the ground running in absence of Rashford] I didn’t have to have a training session to come on and do something. As a striker sometimes you know you just get thrown out there and do what you can. It might be that he’ll have to come off the bench and get us a goal and then he just does whatever he’s always done.

He’ll be involved with us [at Chelsea] and he’ll travel down with us. Obviously now he’s out of that two-week period of precaution - and it’s just a precaution we’ve made. He’ll travel with us and let’s see if he’s involved or not.

We’ve kept in touch with him and of course we’ve done our own programme, he’s done his. It was always going to be a case of him having to integrate to the group anyway after having been out in China. He needs to get used to the players and the team and needs to get up to speed as quick as he can. He’s been working really hard, I think he’s probably pinching himself at times because he’s now at his favourite club at the age of 30 but he’s earned that one. Hopefully he’ll impress us as much so we can see him play

[With] the injury to Marcus Rashford … It has to be said that we needed another forward. When we got the chance to get Odion, on a loan, that was for us a goalscorer, top scorer [at the] African Nations Cup last year, we think, yeah, he can help the club. I know he’s a very professional player, good lad and he’ll give something to the group

2020 02 14b Retrieve

[Solskjaer won’t guarantee Ighalo will play against Chelsea] I never said he was going to be ready to play on Monday. He’ll be involved with us and he’ll travel down with us and, obviously, now he’s out of that two-week period of precaution and it’s a precaution we’ve made. He’ll travel with us and let’s see if he’s involved or not. He’s done his [training programme] and it was always going to be a case of him having to integrate into the group anyway after having been out in China. He needs to get used to the players and the team and up to speed as quick as he can

I don’t think we’ll get anyone back for the Chelsea game because Scott McTominay, Axel Tuanzebe, Tim, they didn’t join too much so they’re not ready to play that game. And Paul Pogba is not ready, of course. How do we go about playing without Marcus Rashford, Paul, Scott? You deal with it. We’ve got players who are going to get a chance. They’ve now had a rest, a great rest

2020 02 16 Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has opened the door for Odion Ighalo to turn his short-term loan deal into a permanent move] It’s a loan, but when you’re in the door and if you impress it gives you a chance. That’s exactly the same for everyone who signs if it’s permanent or it’s a loan. If you impress as a player, if you impress as a person, if you can help this group improve, then of course there’s a chance that we’ll look at extending things. That doesn’t just go for Odion, but since you asked, yes, of course his incentive is to play as well as he can. And it’s up to us to make sure that he’d want to stay if we wanted him. I think he’s probably pinching himself at times, because he’s now at his favourite club at the age of 30. Hopefully he’ll prove to you what I think he will. He’s a proven goalscorer, so he’ll do all right

[Along with Ighalo, United also brought in Bruno Fernandes over the winter transfer period] I’m very happy with the two guys we’ve brought in. To finally have got Bruno over the line, to have signed him after following him for so long, just seeing what he can give us and what he will give us, it has been great. It will be good to integrate Odion as well

2020 02 16b Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hit out at Paul Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola, claiming the player belongs to the club and not him] I’ve not spoken to Mino that is for sure. And, no, I haven’t sat down and told Paul to tell Mino what he should say. Paul is our player and not Mino’s.

Well of course I’d like to say that as soon as he gets fit he’ll be good enough to play and I’m sure Paul’s desperate to play for us again. As a player the last thing you want is to be is injured and not being able to contribute to your team. Paul’s a footballer and he wants to play football. He knows he has to work hard now to get back to his best as he’s been out for so long. It’s a challenge as well for him to get back to his shape.

It’s a difficult period in your career [being injured] but it is part and parcel of being a player – so I’m not going to give you a headline that his season has been such and such. He’s started running on the treadmill so he’s getting closer – it’s been a long haul so hopefully we can see him back soon.

Paul’s an important player for us but we learn so much about the others as well. Some of the players have really stepped up and taken on responsibility and shown what they can be and what they are for Man United. It’s unfortunate if you get one of your best players injured of course, but that’s just part of it, part of being here. I can’t feel sorry for myself because we’ve had all these injuries – we’re building a squad that can cope with this

2020 02 17 Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Man Utd will be ‘better off’ in top-four bid after winter break] The break has been very good. It’s good to be back, but we had a good week out there. It was needed and I think we’ll see the benefit in the whole league, never mind just us. The whole Premier League will, I’m sure, benefit from having this break.

We had to get together again, but we had to give them some days off first to refresh. When we got together, we had a good week training down there and worked hard. It had great facilities, they looked after us down there and the players enjoyed themselves. It’s a fantastic way of getting the group gelling together

It’s a big game of course, Chelsea have been third or fourth nearly all season so for us and the chasing pack they are the ones to catch. Hopefully, we can get three points that will make a big difference for us going forward. Hopefully we’ll go through against Club Brugge, a good team, and if we do, we will have 11 games in those six weeks. That’s possible. It’s another hard task for the boys and that’s why this week together and the week off before that, I’m sure we’ll be better off for it. It’s important of course, every game is important. There are only 13 [league] games left to claw back the points we need

[When asked how Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba are progressing] They’re professional and they want to get back as quick as they can. It’s a difficult period when you’re a player and you’re injured. I’m sure when we see them on the pitch, they will play with a smile again

2020 02 17b Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Manchester United can attract the world’s best players with or without Champions League football] The Champions League gives the club more resources, more money, that’s one thing. It’s a prestigious tournament to be in, of course. But doing as well as we can, and if we play well the rest of the season, and players that we might want are impressed by that, it might be easier to convince them to come here. But I don’t think one season – this season is the Europa League – if next season is with or without the Champions League, I wouldn’t say that’s the be-all and end-all for a player to sign for us

It’s a loan, but when you’re in the door and if you impress it gives you a chance. That’s exactly the same for everyone who signs if it’s permanent or it’s a loan. If you impress as a player, if you impress as a person, if you can help this group improve, then of course there’s a chance that we’ll look at extending things. That doesn’t just go for Odion, but since you asked, yes, of course his incentive is to play as well as he can. And it’s up to us to make sure that he’d want to stay if we wanted him

2020 02 18 Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer praised Bruno Fernandes’ performance against Chelsea] He’s a top player, he wants to get on the ball. But at set-ball delivery he’s top class, one of the better ones I’ve seen. And Harry, we know if he can get a run on the ball he’s dangerous and he got the goal

Of course we want to be in the Champions League next year, and we’ve given ourselves a chance by this result, but we know that we need to improve. On creating chances, scoring goals. We showed a clean sheet again today, a foundation to build from. We’re going to work hard, recover now because we’ve got a game on Thursday. So thanks for the help, all the recovery we get in Europe

2020 02 18b Retrieve

[Solskjaer reserved praise for Eric Bailly, while pointing to his last-ditch challenge on Mateo Kovacic in the second half] Absolutely fantastic, wasn’t he? Not a bad [selection] conundrum, because Eric’s a top player. It was his first game since we played Chelsea last year in April. He’s such a top, top defender and his block from Kovacic is out-of-this-world defending. He’s quick, he’s strong, brave as a lion and it’s great to have him back

2020 02 18c Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer does not intend to speak to Paul Pogba over Mino Raiola’s comments] Probably not! No. That’s not my area. Paul and Mino have their conversations. I don’t have to comment through the media on Mino and what he says. I can probably speak to him myself. You know the media and you cannot control that anyway. Anyone has a voice and an opinion. There’s things being said about us where you want to comment, but you would rather not. And it’s more clever you don’t comment on many different things. Paul Pogba is due back in training tomorrow so let’s see where he’s at

[United are in contention for a place in Europe next season] We are three points behind Chelsea now, that was a massive win tonight. We could not have realistically clawed back nine points

2020 02 19 Retrieve

[Solskjaer: Pogba nowhere near return to Man Utd training] Paul has not been part of the team training yet. So, it’ll depend on how he feels or when he feels ready to do that, so he’s not anywhere near that yet

2020 02 19b Retrieve

[Solskjaer says Rashford could miss Euro 2020] I would hope he can play again this season. It’ll just be touch and go towards the end. Hopefully we can get through [the Europa League] and prolong the season. It takes time, I’m not a doctor. I was hoping he would recover quicker than what it looks like he’s going to be out for. Another few months definitely. If he’s not fit enough he won’t go [to the Euros]

He had a scan and it was maybe more severe than what we hoped and expected. He felt fine a few days before that. I didn’t know it takes that long to recover. When it heals he will be stronger for it so it’s important we don’t rush it

It has a big impact, two days recovery is not a lot. We had to prepare for this spell coming up. We have seven games in 21 days starting on Monday and ending against City. We have a big squad and we have 19 here. A couple of youngsters haven’t travelled. I’ve got to make not too many changes but enough to keep consistency and we want players feeling part of the team. Ideally you would want to get a game on a Saturday before a Thursday but we can’t complain, it is what it is. I just mentioned it [after the Chelsea game] because it’s not the best of preparation. These boys are brilliant and just get on with it. They’re young and fresh and recover quickly

2020 02 20 Retrieve

[Solskjaer criticises ‘difficult’ ball used in Europa League tie] It was a difficult game against a well-organised team in difficult conditions. I don’t think it was one of the best games that anyone’s seen. A bit sloppy, concentration-wise, but the conditions with pitch and the ball make it hard. You can ask any of the players; that ball doesn’t help when you want to play football

[When asked to elaborate on his comment about the ball] It’s just different and difficult to play with, you can get one and try. But it’s the same for the two teams. The conditions weren’t nice; the wind and the rain. But anyway, strange goals for both teams. Their throw-in and long kick straight through the middle. A lack of concentration from both teams there

Of course, a Monday night game and then Thursday, there’s less recovery and it’s a game again on Sunday. So you’ve got to think about the bigger picture and not one game. So we made the decisions we made and we got a draw, a score draw. So they’ve got to come to Old Trafford, score and if they want a draw they need to score more than one. So we’re looking forward to Thursday

2020 02 20b Retrieve

[Greenwood’s absence for Man Utd against Club Brugge explained as Solskjaer plans to ring the changes] Yeah, the focus is this game. We need to look after this one. Then again we have to think about from Monday until City. That’s seven games in 21 days, a game every three days. We need to make sure we find the right moments to put players in and out, and rotate the squad. Everyone’s very important for us and we need to make sure everyone feels valued as well. Because they’re contributing for us behind the scenes in training. We’ll make some changes for this game

Victor has travelled with us. Scotty hasn’t made the squad yet. Mason hasn’t travelled, he didn’t feel well. Apart from that, it’s more or less the same squad as Monday

Of course, if you’re out, you’re out and there are no second chances. But we’re looking forward to this. We know it’s a tough draw. Normally when you win your group as comfortably as we did, you think you’re going to have a nice draw and then you end up with a Champions League team dropping down from there. So it’s a hard draw but we’re looking forward to it

2020 02 21 Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reveals Manchester United remain in talks with Angel Gomes and Tahith Chong over new contracts] Well we’re still in talks with them. Tahith scored [in a 2-0 win]. He’d rather play a game than sit in the stands here. He’s just making sure that he’s ready when he gets a chance. He played really well against Wolverhampton in the FA Cup and I’m very pleased with him. The boys have got a great attitude. They’re absolutely top-class boys and we’re doing what we can to keep them because in a few years we can see them becoming very, very good players

Well, of course, with team selection you’ve got to maybe rotate in Europe like we’ve done. Maybe go back to what we were against Chelsea this week. We played three games in a week here. I feel with Bruno [Fernandes] coming in and Odion [Ighalo] coming in we’ll get more goals in the team. That’s been lacking. The games we’ve lost - West Ham, Burnley, Palace, Bournemouth - we’ve had chances but we haven’t scored goals. And you can definitely see that Bruno Fernandes gives us another dimension

2020 02 21b Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is ready to welcome Scott McTominay back into the Manchester United squad] I think he might be in the squad. Scott had a rest day today, so let’s see how he is tomorrow.

I’m not surprised [he’s back so soon] because that’s the type he is. He’s a physical specimen, he’s a leader. He never shirks a tackle and he brings everyone with him. He can sit with Nemanja [Matic] and Fred or he could be one of the runners in midfield. Talking about that here today, we don’t really make enough runs past the striker. Scott used to be a striker so he’s used to being in the box.

2020 02 21c Retrieve

[Solskjaer backs Anthony Martial to reach 20 goals but urges Man Utd striker to get stronger] I think Anthony can step up and get a few more and get to the 20-mark, definitely. He’s got quality, of course. He’s a very good finisher, he takes his chances really well, good technique in his finishing, and he’s good receiving the ball at times, dropping off, he can play almost like a false nine at times. Sometimes, I’d like him to be stronger physically

I’m encouraged by his attitude this season as well, wanting to do those things that are not natural to him. But you’ve got to make him a number nine again after playing wide for so many years. Marcus and Anthony have played wide until the last 12 months, really

That was a very disappointing game. We should have won that one. We gifted them the two goals and we had chances to pull away ourselves, but you can’t win games if you don’t take your chances. I feel that with Bruno coming in, with Odion coming in, we’ll get more goals. That’s been lacking in the games we’ve lost: West Ham, Burnley, Crystal Palace, Bournemouth, we’ve had chances and not taken them. You can see that Bruno gives us another dimension

I think Scott McTominay might be in the squad. I’m not surprised [by his quick return] because that’s the type he is. He’s a physical specimen, he’s a leader, he never shirks a tackle and he brings everyone with him. And he can sit with Nemanja [Matic] or Fred or be one of the runners in midfield. We were talking here today how we don’t have enough runs past the striker. He used to be a striker, so he’s used to being in the box

[The future of Tahith Chong and Angel Gomes is unclear as they enter the final stages of their United contracts] We’re still in talks with them. Tahith scored today. He’d rather play a game than sit in the stands here, so it’s making sure he’s ready when he gets a chance. He played really well against Wolves in the FA Cup. The boys have got great attitude, they’re absolutely top-class boys and we’re doing what we can to keep them. In a few years, you can see them being very, very good players

2020 02 23 Retrieve

[‘Mind-blowing’ Anthony Martial urged to build on best goalscoring run in three years] He has his critics, I am one of them, demanding stuff. He’s had a great week. Today the mind-blowing skills. I want more from him and I’ll keep at him

2020 02 23b Retrieve

[Solskjaer: Bruno Fernandes was described as a mix between Paul Scholes and Juan Sebastian Veron after inspiring Manchester United’s 3-0 home win over Watford] He has come in and given everyone a big boost - not just the team, the supporters too. He felt from the first minute like a big personality in our group. He was confident straight away and is like a mix between Scholes and Veron

Bruno Fernandes is quicker than he looks. I’m very excited to have him in. He has come in, given everyone a boost and wants to conduct a game. There are big games coming up now. The thing that matters in football is scoring goals and that is what Mason Greenwood does

2020 02 23c Retrieve

[Solskjaer says Bruno Fernandes can be Man Utd’s new Scholes] He reminds me of Scholesy as a player but definitely a different type of personality off the pitch. Against Club Brugge, when he’s on the bench, he walks around, he speaks to the players who start, he helps them, he gives them points. And the 10 minutes he played you could see that there’s a difference in our team. He’s another conductor and leader and winner. He wants to win. He doesn’t take 99 per cent as good enough and he’s impressed me. That’s something you see when you watch him but you don’t know about until you have him in your group. He’s been top class

I didn’t expect him to be captain this quickly but he’s been in the dressing room and with the coaches, he’s vocal, he’s got the experience, he’s got everything a captain should have. It’s natural for him to take that role, his performances have helped. That was one of the attributes we looked at when we signed him.

Harry’s his own man, but Man Utd is, if not the biggest, one of the two or three biggest clubs in the world and he’s now the frontman. You have to be thick skinned, you can’t sulk or feel sorry for yourself, you have to get on with things and be proactive. He’s got to lead men - we’ve got a few men and some boys as well - and he’s got to go in front as an example for everyone. You’ve got to be able to churn out games, play time and time again. He’s never asked for a rest, he plays internationals, he plays for us, he plays midweek and weekend and he’s that type of personality that wants to be out there on the pitch, that’s a leader. He organises paintballing, he organises a fining system, he’s taken on everything

2020 02 25 Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Mason Greenwood is capable of becoming a complete No.9] The whole season he’s had says a lot for him. He’s just going to get better and better. He’s only 18, we’ve got to remember that. He’s still not fully grown in his body, he’s not like Wayne Rooney at 18. He still has a young body and in a few years’ time, he’ll be more or less the complete No.9. He’ll still fill out more but it will take a couple of years. Give him time because it’ll be natural. He’s 18 now and he’ll still fill out more: his upper body, his legs. He’s now starting to get a man’s body but it will take a couple of years because you can’t do that too early

2020 02 26 Retrieve

[Solskjaer: Man Utd could suffer without Champions League riches] We’re a big club and we’ve got good finances but the longer you’re out the more you suffer, so it’s an ambition to get back into the Champions League. For footballing reasons and financially it will help the club. We’ve got to focus on this competition, then the league on Sunday and then FA Cup. I think we need to take one game at a time. Both [routes into the Champions League through the Europa League and Premier League] are possible. In a cup competition, you never know. It might be a bad day. You can’t rely on winning this. There are some good teams in it and we need to get past Brugge. We’re looking forward to the game

2020 02 26b Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Bruno Fernandes gives Manchester United a bit of a different flavour] We feel we’ve added some x-factor quality with Bruno. Anthony coming back, he was out for a couple of months, means he’s getting used to the no.9 position. Scott [McTominay] has developed but Nemanja and Fred have done well. The addition of Bruno gives us a bit of a different flavour. He likes to play forward passes and take risks, which a Man Utd player should do

His imagination and his overview, picture, is a couple of seconds ahead of many players. It’s one of his strengths - he knows what he wants to do. He can change his mind in a split-second. That composure has been important. I think Bruno will only improve by coming here to a stronger league, stronger opponents and stronger team-mates, getting used to us. We want to develop that x-factor. He’s come in and impressed everyone but we don’t want to put a limit on what he can do

2020 02 27 Retrieve

[Solskjaer: ‘The players are smiling’ after Man Utd romp in Europa League] We are not conceding goals which is so important but we played today the way we want to play. The players are smiling, they are playing with confidence and that is what we want. The new lads have brought that in. The football we played at times pleased me the most. We started the game with great intent. We were playing with good rhythm and intent in our game and we got some great goals as well

[Ighalo was one of the players United acquired in January] He plays up front, he can play with his back to goal and the goal was a good example of what you want of him. He can hold up the ball and he is what we have been lacking a little bit. If we hadn’t had Odion tonight then Mason Greenwood would have had to play and we have a game on Sunday and that would put us in a tired position. We knew what we got when we signed him

2020 02 27b Retrieve

[Solskjaer confirms Anthony Martial injury as Man Utd striker misses Club Brugge clash] He didn’t feel right after the training yesterday, or (rather) he walked off during training and he’s injured. So hopefully it won’t be too bad but I don’t really know yet how long he’ll be

They [Bailly & McTominay] need the minutes, but they deserve to play. Eric did really well against Chelsea and Scott has been fantastic all season, but it is not a game to just give minutes, we want to win the game and win it well

2020 02 27c Retrieve

[Solskjaer demanding more from Anthony Martial as Man Utd seek to build the perfect No.9] If you’re a wide forward, you’re facing forwards more and running at people. Now he’s in a different position, where it is more physical and you’ve got to be stronger with your back to goal and be more patient. It’s your job to be in the box when the ball arrives. I’m still at him. I demand more of him. Sometimes, the ball is squared across the six-yard line and it’s where he should be. I just nudge him and say: ‘It should have been a goal for you’. Scoring 25 instead of 15 is a big difference for a No.9

It’s a foundation to build performances from. If you concede goals, you need to score more goals and we’ve got many individuals at the back playing really well. The keepers, the full-backs, centre-backs and as a unit, we’re getting more solid and more compact. When I’m on the touchline, I’m stood watching and not confident until the game is gone and then, clean sheet, and a pat on the back. Concentration and focus. That is what it’s about – in both boxes

2020 02 28 Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has vowed Manchester United will never stoop as low as they did in last season’s 4-0 loss to Everton] That was the lowest I’ve been, I think you all know that and remember that. That was just a capitulation. We had absolutely nothing about us, even though all the goals were more or less counterattacks from set-plays or long throw-ins; everything you didn’t want to see you saw in that game. Everton at home are hard to play against, with the two up front, they put the players in the box, so we knew what we were up against. I’m 100 per cent sure we’ll put a better performance up

I knew probably before then [changes had to be made] but one or two had their last chance more or less, but we had to get to the summer first. I can, with hand on heart, 100 per cent say that these boys will never give in, never give up like that team did. These are the boys we want to build the next team around

2020 02 28b Retrieve

[Solskjaer says Bruno Fernandes a big boost, but Man Utd need one or two more pieces] We knew when we made the decisions we made in the summer it was going to take time and Rome, as I’ve said a few times, wasn’t built in a day. But the culture, the attitude, the fitness, the camaraderie, the team spirit, maybe even the understanding between players, have improved

We have missed that box-opener that Bruno is proving to be now. There was one or two pieces missing and we still know we’re missing one or two pieces to be where we want to be. But it’s a work in progress. Kieran McKenna and Michael Carrick are fantastic on the training ground I have to say [with] the coaching, and the boys are willing to learn. And now we’ve got more and more fit players as well

[Solskjaer has been impressed by the attitude displayed by Fernandes] When I send him in or when I take him off – obviously he didn’t want to come off [against Brugge], that’s one thing. He just loves football, he’s got so much enthusiasm and has a smile about him, he wants to be out there and wants to be better. I tried to send him in because it was cold and [he said,] ‘Oh, no, no. I want to watch.’ He just loves football, he’ll probably know everything about football and is just one of these old-school boys that football is everything for him. He’s been a big, big boost for us

2020 02 29 Retrieve

[Solskjaer hails impact of Bruno Fernandes in consistency bid] That little bit of spark he has given us. He’s come in and the supporters, the feeling around the place, is better. He risks passes, he plays forward passes, he takes chances, he loses the ball a few times but he’s one of the players that looks good when he loses the ball because it’s a good attempt. He then wins it back. Delighted with him

We have had a few disappointing games, definitely, and inconsistent periods. We have had some great highs, great games – [Manchester] City, Chelsea, Liverpool game at home. Loads of games we have played really exciting football and then let ourselves down at times in games that we have dominated. Odion as well has given us something extra because we’ve missed that type of striker in and around the box and having tap-ins. We have had to score the perfect goal and we don’t need that now because we’ve got players who can strike the ball well from outside, we’ve got a striker in the box, so I feel we’re getting closer to that consistency. We have had a great improvement in our defending, the consistency, clean sheets, a foundation to play from but we can’t get carried away. We are close to the top four but we aren’t there and we need to carry on – Everton, [Manchester] City, Tottenham, Sheffield United, they are our next four league games

If it lasts one more week or a year, or 10 years, I’m going to enjoy it. Things had to change, I believed that. We needed more belief and smiles around the place, and we’re getting there – I’m smiling anyway!

2020 03 01 Retrieve

[Solskjaer praises ‘fantastic’ David de Gea saves after ‘unfortunate’ error against Everton] It’s something that happens in football once in a while if you take too long on the ball. Calvert-Lewin always chases everything and it’s unfortunate that it goes in the goal. We responded and got the goal we deserved

It was a lively end to the game - we thought we could and should have won it and then it was drama at the other end. David told me he gets distracted because he [Sigurdsson] is there. His save to his right was fantastic - I was 100 per cent sure that would be a goal.

It was a game of two halves - first half, we were excellent. But a very strange start, you shouldn’t be 1-0 down like that. After that we played fantastic football and we should have been leading at half time, we could have won it at the end. We defended all the second half and pleased with a point. One point each, is what both teams deserve we had the first half and they had the second

[Solskjaer reserved praise for midfielder Bruno Fernandes] He’s a good player and we have been missing that type of player to do that for us, I’m very pleased with his contribution

2020 03 01b Retrieve

[Solskjaer provides Rashford hope after ‘positive’ scan] The scan came back quite positive. But we will give him the time he needs. He’s desperate to come back, of course, but it’ll be another couple of months before we see him, probably. We can’t rush it, but when he is fit he will be stronger for it so when he comes back it’s going to be a big boost for us.

He’s around the place, in the dressing room before games, at half-time. He wants the boys to do well so he can come back and play in the Europa League, the FA Cup final. He wants to be there when the business end comes

Motivation increases when you have had a bad year or a setback, that’s what happened to me. I was watching them playing instead of me, scoring goals instead of me. It’s a similar situation when a new striker arrives and you have more competition, you get extra motivation

I feel like Rashford will try to look how he can improve and score goals that are even more important for this club. I have no doubt that if he keeps the mentality that he has shown throughout the last few games he will be even stronger, mentally and physically

He is young and all those things can be used as motivation. He needs to take this as an opportunity to learn his game and understand what he can copy from his teammates and what he can do to get even better

2020 03 04 Retrieve

[Solskjaer issues goal warning to ‘old dog’ Rooney ahead of Man Utd’s trip to Derby] He gave absolutely everything for this club and we all appreciate what he’s done, but any goal he scores against us will be chalked off his goal tally, so he doesn’t want to score too many. Wayne will show what he can do, he wants to prove there is still fight in an old dog. We’ve got to be on our toes, don’t give him any space in and around the box, or in midfield, because you can see his Scholesy-like passing range

He’s been a fantastic player for Man United. And he played here for so long. He’s the club’s top scorer, he won so many trophies. For me, I don’t think the fans underrate him, I think everyone really, really appreciates what he did for us, he’s still very welcome, he’s still around the place, he still comes to Old Trafford, so he will get a good reception from our away fans in that game

I think he just wants to stay in the game, as many of us do, and he’s a great person, he makes everyone feel good – whether you are 80 or 10. He’s even my Noah’s favourite player, not just because what he did as a player, but the kind of human being he was in and around the place. I’m sure when he becomes a manager he’ll affect his players. When he’s coaching, he’s so enthusiastic about the game and he knows the game

2020 03 04b Retrieve

[Solskjaer confirms Pogba set to return to Man Utd training next week] Paul’s still working with the physios outside. He won’t be training with the first-team until next week, so then let’s see how long that will take. But he’ll need some time to train, to get his… call it football fitness back

[Daniel James] he’ll probably miss out on this one as well, Marcus [Rashford] and Paul are still out and I think Aaron might be struggling. He’s got a test today but he struggled in our last game against Everton with his back, so he might be out.

[When asked who will start between the sticks against Derby] It’s not a given of course, and Sergio has done well in the games he’s played definitely, but I have no qualms about playing David in every game, to be fair. What he’s done and his performances have been great, the saves, the save just after [his error], was 100 per cent offside for Calvert-Lewin but he wasn’t flagged, so that was a point-saving save for us just afterwards. He made amends

2020 03 05 Retrieve

[Solskjaer brands Ighalo a ‘breath of fresh air’] It doesn’t hurt [living the dream] but he’s here on merit, he’s here because he is a goalscorer and a different type of striker for us. We might get to the summer and think we want to extend this, who knows?

He’s come in as a breath of fresh air as well. He had chances in his five minutes against Chelsea, he scored against Bruges, he had chances against Watford, he had a very good save [from a shot] against Everton - there have been good saves, he doesn’t miss the target very often.

Even for Anthony (Martial), Mason (Greenwood) and Marcus (Rashford) to learn that it is where the sharks are swimming. It’s comfortable outside the box and you can have a few shots. It’s in there where it might be a bit tougher and you might get hurt - that’s where you get goals

[Solskjaer said of Dean Henderson’s desire to become United’s No.1] That’s Man United! You should have a nice problem, you should have two or three challenging for the same positions. That’s what we are trying to get to

2020 03 05b Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Bruno Fernandes is fourth piece in Man Utd puzzle] You need courage, you need to be a risk-taker at Manchester United. The fans demand it, the club demands it, it is what we’ve been brought up on with Sir Alex. Bruno coming in has boosted the players but for the supporters as well, they can see that we are putting pieces in place. I think most of them understand that you can’t put six or seven pieces in one go. We’ve had four decent pieces in the jigsaw

When you go and see them live you just get that feeling of the player. What impressed me most that day was his personality. We knew about his skills and qualities. If you follow him and watch him all the time [you notice] that he cares so much and wants to win, he had that fire in him. I thought, yep, that’s the character we need. He won’t let anyone down. Letting the team down is the same as letting himself down. He wants to win and he knows we [win] together, everyone plays an important part. He’s been a positive boost

2020 03 05c Retrieve

[Solskjaer confirms Maguire a doubt for Manchester derby with ankle injury] I had a word with him before training yesterday to say I’m not going to rest him. But then he rolled his ankle in training so he had to stay at home. Hopefully he’ll be okay for the weekend but I’m not sure.

[Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James are also in danger of missing the Manchester derby] Well the players are desperate to play and we wanted to give them a chance. There are a couple of injuries and they couldn’t have played anyway. But we’ve picked a strong team and hopefully we can go through. There are a couple of players who are getting the chance to stake a claim for the derby because I’m not sure if Harry, Dan or Aaron are going to be available. So there are chances [tonight] for a few

2020 03 05d Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he could see Wayne Rooney managing Manchester United in the future] It depends on how much you put into the job and how much you want it. It takes over your life but it’s the best – the second best – after playing so I’m sure there’s many ex-players and manager that would like to have my job

2020 03 06 Retrieve

[United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer knew exactly what Krul was up to] He is actually one of the best in the world, Tim Krul, on penalties. He is clever in his mannerisms as well. He should have been booked, probably, because he was straying away from the goal, but they should both have been retaken

2020 03 06b Retrieve

[Solskjaer slams fixture list as Man City get extra day’s rest before Manchester derby] It’s that help we get from the FA, that extra 24 hours that they’ve had. I cannot believe – there’s a derby on Sunday and we’ve got to play on Thursday night. What’s the point in that? That doesn’t level the playing field. It was the same when we beat them last time, we played Wednesday and they played Tuesday, so we’ve got to be good at recovering now. I don’t think we can [complain about it] it’s one of those where you get told when you’re going to play. We’ve not got any help before this one

2020 03 06c Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said when questioned on Lingard’s reaction to regular spells on the bench] That is what I like. I like to see players who say, ‘okay, he has left me out for two or three games without explanation’. I don’t have to explain every time. Sometimes I do, yeah, but it is a way for me to say I need more. You can’t just speak to them 100 times and say, ‘now we need a change in you’. You have had opportunities. I’ve got to make decisions and one day […] well, you give them one warning and that’s it probably, and then the next thing maybe they are not here anymore. You don’t have to explain every time then. You might have to think about it after

2020 03 06d Retrieve

[Solskjaer warns Man Utd to keep emotions in check against Man City] When you’re at home, you have to open up against a team like Man City and they will exploit that if you’re not 100 per cent. Sometimes, being at home with your fans, you want to show them what you can do and you want to beat your opponent. Sometimes you open up too many spaces and that’s what we did for 10, 15 or 20 minutes, whatever we did after they scored a worldie [Bernardo Silva’s opening goal in the 3-1 defeat]. Before then, it wasn’t a problem before Bernardo scored in the top corner. So that wasn’t an issue until our heads went for a little while, so we’ve got to control our emotions more. And we have learned so that’s an experience that we’ll bring into this game, definitely

Four times in a few months, so there’s not going to be any video [briefing] tomorrow (Friday) or Saturday because we’ve played them so many times. I think it helps, because my team is still developing. Our team now is developing and you want to play against the best. We need to learn and they’ve been the best in the last few seasons and, for us, it’s a great challenge

They’ll feel confident, they’ve hit form, they’re playing well. They’ve just been at the Bernabeu, winning there [against Real Madrid] as well, and they won the Carabao Cup final [against Aston Villa]. So, I’m sure they’ll come confident, they’ll play their own game and we’ll play our game and hopefully it will be a good one. Let’s hope it is a 4-3 like we’ve seen before. There have been many classics and we’ll do what we can to make it a classic

2020 03 06e Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Bruno Fernandes is a winner] I like to see that in a player, he doesn’t change coming into a new team. He’s the same as he was at Sporting. That’s a boy with confidence, with quality, good form and that’s his personality. Everyone should be themselves. He’s come in as a leader and he’s shown he’s a leader. He’s a winner. He doesn’t take 99 per cent as good enough

[Solskjaer will hope to have captain Harry Maguire available alongside right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka and winger Daniel James] I hope [they will be fit] but none of them have been training yet since the last game. We’ve got to look at them on Saturday because Friday is a recovery day. It’s touch and go because Maguire rolled and twisted his ankle. Hopefully he’ll recover quickly. I hope he’ll be fit, yeah

2020 03 06f Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer praised Odion Ighalo for doing what it says on the tin] [Ighalo] is doing what it says on the tin. He’s come in and he’s playing up front, different type of striker. [Ighalo] is doing what it says on the tin. He’s come in and he’s playing up front, different type of striker

They’re hungry for their clean sheets, aren’t they? Fantastic save to be fair and he didn’t read the script. I’m very pleased with the performances and to go from being the favourites, having City, how that will affect their mindset, but it was professional

2020 03 07 Retrieve

[Pogba & Fernandes partnership is part of Solskjaer’s plan at Man Utd] Of course, you look at our squad and you want the best players playing together. You have a hope that we get to the stage where we really challenge for the league. We want to consistently keep winning games like Manchester United teams do by playing convincing, attacking, free-flowing football with flair

It was different, definitely. First of all, I had to make sure I was in first, so I went in at six in the morning. Your mind was racing. But the first time - you were almost nervous. The nerves settle pretty quickly when you walk into reception. Everyone is smiling and so happy to see you. It was like the old days - you were coming home

2020 03 08 Retrieve

[Solskjaer on how Bruno Fernandes can help Scott McTominay improve at Man Utd] Bruno can help Scott improve, definitely. Bruno is going to give us loads, definitely, and he is going to help the young kid. I shouldn’t call Scotty a kid, he is 23, but he is still learning the game. Bruno knows it inside out. He has been around, he’s travelled, he’s had his ups and downs. He has been in Italy, Portugal so he has learned to deal with setbacks, so he will help them all including Scotty

Scott has been important for us but he needs games as well to get back to the level that he was at before he got injured. It takes time when you’ve been out for two months so he’s getting there, he has done remarkably well in his recovery and to be back so quickly, we are delighted

2020 03 08b Retrieve

[Solskjaer: You can’t pick confidence out of the fridge] You can’t pick confidence out of the fridge so it just comes from performances and results and doing the right things over and over again. We’ll have to do that against them because they’re a fantastic team at their best. So we need to make sure that we’re ready. I’ve got to say we’re looking forward to it. It’s a derby. We’ve found form, we know form might be thrown out the window in a derby but still the boys are confident going into this game

I think at times it was exhilarating. At times it was the best, because from, say, the 10th until the 30th minute, we were absolutely fantastic. That’s football at its highest level. Then again we’re playing against a good team and we didn’t keep the ball as well as we’d like second half. So the overall 90 minutes we played miles better than that, but those 20 minutes were the best I’ve seen from my team

It’s not managers that get one over on each other. It’s the players that do on the pitch. They play on the pitch and the ones we’ve won against City they’ve thoroughly deserved, because they’ve absolutely followed the plan and they’ve executed it perfectly. It’s not me beating Pep, it’s Man Utd players beating Man City players

2020 03 08c Retrieve

[Solskjaer hails players’ attitude after derby win] The desire, attitude, commitment, connection between fans and players pleased me most. At times we pressed them, pushed them back, we tried to be aggressive. We made them make mistakes and we are happy with the result

Anthony Martial and Bruno Fernandes have hit if off. It is a privilege to be a manager of a squad with this attitude. You can’t ask for more. They are going to improve as players as well. Those little things will come but it is a privilege and they want to listen to advice. For our players to beat a team like Manchester City is fantastic, I am delighted for them

With all the clean sheets we have been getting it’s impressive, we are getting better. With Brandon Williams and Aaron Wan-Bissaka on the flanks we looked aggressive as a 3-5-2, but in the second half we were made to look more like a 5-4-1. City are so good on the ball, but we kept them at bay. At any moment they could score so I was always looking for a second goal. We had three chances to square with only the goalkeeper to beat. That’s one thing to improve - our decision-making - but we are learning. It’s a privilege to be their manager. They give absolutely everything. They know they are all good players but they want to learn as well. We feel we are improving as a squad and a team. We feel the fans want us to do well and they see what we are doing, so it is getting better and better. But we are still fifth. We need points to catch Chelsea and Leicester, so need to keep plugging away

2020 03 09 Retrieve

[Solskjaer hails Fernandes following win over Manchester City] He works hard, he’s humble enough, he’s got the desire, commitment, but he’s also got the X-factor. He’s a risk-taker, he’s got courage, he’s brave enough to make mistakes and if you make enough mistakes they’ll be corrected into fantastic assists or goals

We feel we’re improving all the time and we know that we lack one or two, three players and some experience to be considered a title contender, we know that and we’re not going to start talking about that now. We’re just going to start talking about getting up the table, getting more points, challenging for that top four because Chelsea and Leicester are too far ahead of us for my liking still

2020 03 09b Retrieve

[Tahith Chong signs new Manchester United contract] Tahith works extremely hard every day and he is constantly improving. His performances this season, whether for the first team or Under-23s, are testament to his hard work, dedication and to his character. We are pleased with the progress he has made since he stepped up from the academy and are looking forward to continuing to develop his talent. Tahith has great potential; given his age, ability and work-ethic, we can see that he has a bright future at Manchester United

2020 03 10 Retrieve

[Solskjaer already has summer transfer plans in place as Man Utd work ‘a couple of windows ahead] We have been working for a long time already to analyse our team and what we can get in the market. We are trying to work out a couple of transfer windows ahead. We can’t just react in May with ‘now we have to do something’. But then, all of a sudden, players can become available to sign, so you still have to be aware that something can happen quickly

Player signings are very systematic. It takes many hours, and there are many people and many hours of player analysis that lie behind a list that is presented to me. And then I follow football myself, so I have wishes myself. But I have an impression of what kind of football player I want and what kind of person I want to join the club

2020 03 11 Retrieve

[Manchester United starting to see reward of changed transfer strategy] Player signings are very systematic. It takes many hours, and there are many people and many hours of player analysis that underlie a list that is presented to me. And then I follow football myself, so I have wishes myself. But I have an impression on what kind of football player I want and what kind of person I want to join the club

2020 03 11b Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer expects Paul Pogba to return to Manchester United training next week] Anthony hurt himself when he slid into the post [against Manchester City], so he is not ready for this game. Solskjaer said ahead of the first-leg clash with the Austrian outfit. Hopefully for Sunday, but not sure. Paul is getting closer, but not ready yet he hasn’t trained with the team yet but by next week he will be ready

The players are focused on concentrating on the job, these are difficult circumstances for all of society. For us we just have to do what we are told and get on with the game. We will have to create our own atmosphere within the game. They are used to training with no spectators, we play quite a lot of behind closed door friendlies, and I have no doubt my players are ready to perform even if there are no spectators there.

Of course it will be strange. This it makes for a stranger atmosphere, we are just going to make the most of it. We don’t know what is going to happen, we just have to get on with it. I think football is about fans, without fans it is nothing. It should always be for them. A difficult situation but the boys are very good at focusing on the job in hand. At the moment I am not aware of any decision being made for next week’s game [at Old Trafford]. We have to wait for the authorities and the government to make their decisions

2020 03 12 Retrieve

[Solskjaer: Manchester derby win means nothing for Man Utd and challenge is to kick on] You don’t have time to be on a high for too long. You dust yourselves off and get ready for the next one. That’s the challenge, you have to kick on and treat this as the start of the season. Yes, it was a fantastic day with the fans and the team. We beat City again and it was a great atmosphere, seeing Scotty [McTominay] sliding on his knees in front of the Stretford End was unbelievable. [But] it’s gone. Nothing becomes history quicker than a football game. It’s not like we’re 1-0 or 2-0 up against LASK because of this. We’ve got to start well, play well and do our job

To be fair, when we got the draw, it was useful that Bruno was there. He said it’s going to be a very tough game. They lost against them but won 2-1 at home. They lost away from home but obviously he mentioned he didn’t play in that one! He said it will be a hard game for us and the players must be ready

2020 03 12b Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has insisted Paul Pogba will remain at Manchester United next season] Paul’s our player. He has two years left on his contract, a year plus the option of another. You can expect Paul to be here [next season], yeah

2020 03 13 Retrieve

[Solskjaer hints at Man Utd stay for Ighalo after Europa League wondergoal against LASK] Odion has done really well since he came in and he’s enjoying himself. And he will improve and get better but he has qualities we saw in him and we needed and we will still need those qualities for next season, so let’s see what we will do. He’s a goalscorer and a striker, he doesn’t worry too much about all that nonsense; build-up play - that’s a joke, obviously. He knows his job and what his role in the team is, and he’s very good with his back to goal, great link player, but maybe the best thing about him is his personality, so he’s got the whole lot really. He had three touches before his fourth was the finish. All of them touches were high quality but he had to make them to create space for himself. But the strike is on the half-volley, great timing, no one would have saved that one so anyone would have been proud of that finish

[Solskjaer has already suggested that a place will be found in his future plans for Ighalo] It doesn’t hurt [living the dream] but he’s here on merit, he’s here because he is a goalscorer and a different type of striker for us. We might get to the summer and think we want to extend this, who knows?

2020 03 13b Retrieve

[Solskjaer concedes ‘a lot needed to be changed’ at Man Utd] I felt a lot needed to be changed. I believe that we’re going places. I believe that we’re on the track that Man United need to be on. There are different cultures at different clubs and different ways of doing things and I believe in the way we do things at Man United now. I don’t necessarily believe in everything we’ve done before but at the moment I believe in what we’re doing

I think I’m the right man but I’m not going to sit here and talk about that. The proof is in the pudding at the end of the day

[Solskjaer said of Paul Pogba when asked if he could be thrown straight back into action] Paul Pogba. I don’t think he’s had enough sessions with the team. But I had a nice conversation with him the other day and I wouldn’t think he’d be against it if I asked him

2020 03 17 Retrieve

[Manchester United have triggered a one-year extension on Nemanja Matic’s contract to keep the midfielder at the club until 2021] We have agreed with him so he will stay, 100 per cent

2020 03 19 Retrieve

[Solskjaer has since hinted the club were right not to sign Haaland] It is important that we use common sense. There are other things too when you sign players, that you have to keep in control. You can’t give agents the control by giving buyout clauses and stuff. That has been touted around, that is for me, we have to be in control

2020 03 20 Retrieve

[Giving him the captaincy against Rochdale was a clear sign from the United boss that Tuanzebe is a key part of his rebuilding project at Old Trafford] Axel is a captain in the making, he’s a leader – why not give the armband to young kids? We know we can give it to Sergio (Romero) and we can give it to Paul (Pogba). That’s no problem; they’ve been captains before. But it was Axel and how does he handle it? He was absolutely fine; he enjoyed it. It’s just a way of telling him that we trust him

2020 03 24 Retrieve

[Ighalo’s Man Utd loan deal to end in May with Nigerian open to permanent switch] We might get to the summer and think we want to extend this, who know? He’s come in as a breath of fresh air as well. He had chances in his five minutes against Chelsea, he scored against Bruges, he had chances against Watford, he had a very good save [from a shot] against Everton – there have been good saves, he doesn’t miss the target very often. Even for Anthony (Martial), Mason (Greenwood) and Marcus to learn that it is where the sharks are swimming. It’s comfortable outside the box and you can have a few shots. It’s in there where it might be a bit tougher and you might get hurt – that’s where you get goals

2020 03 24b Retrieve

[Solskjaer snubbed Liverpool & Bayern to become a Man Utd legend] Were Liverpool and Bayern Munich in for me? Yes, [and] Cagliari, PSV and a couple of other teams. But I wouldn’t change the history. There was only one choice. It was fantastic when the call came. The owners of Molde asked me to come to the office: ‘We’ve got this offer – do you fancy it?’ Yeah, okay. They were going to go on holiday the next couple of days. Martin Edwards was going to go on holiday as well, so we had to come in the next day. Their private jet was down by some fault, so they booked and rented another private jet just to fly me over.

I was nervous [before meeting Ferguson], because you’re afraid that you’re going to say something daft and he’s going to have a wrong first impression. I knew he’d not seen me play a game, so it was an important meeting for me. It was just me. We had fish and chips at Old Trafford, in the restaurant back there, and it was maybe half-an-hour or 45 minutes. He said: ‘Use the first six months in the reserves, then after Christmas maybe we can integrate you into the first-team squad.’ They were just negotiating the deal inside Old Trafford, and they were giving me a tour. The tour guide just asked me [why I was here] and I said ‘I’m here to sign a contract’! He actually gave me his pen to sign the contract with! It was a proud moment for him as well, I think

2020 03 31 Retrieve

[Solskjaer: Man Utd players’ wives and girlfriends can help them practice their finishing!] The players have got individual programmes and they’ve got their own diets, of course, and this period could be used to work on something special, something specific for them and their roles and tasks. I’ve been in the garden, with the kids, working on finishing and the strikers should be working on finishing or their movement. Most of the players have got good facilities and decent gardens so, hopefully, their wives and girlfriends will be able to put some passes and crosses in.

For the actual job, I keep in touch and communicate with the staff and the players. Of course, I’m used to seeing them every day for hours and hours, so it’s different. I just keep in touch with them on WhatsApp groups and messages, and we plan for whenever we get back and what kind of sessions for when we do start. But it’s such an unknown and we don’t really have an idea and are not 100 per cent about when we’ll start. That’s the good thing now with technology and we’re lucky in that sense. We can keep in touch and see each other. We can send messages and get a reply quickly, and we can do the old-fashioned phone call sometimes and speak just on the phone. So we keep in touch regularly

2020 04 02 Retrieve

[Man Utd boss Solskjaer salutes work of NHS during coronavirus crisis] We all know, sometimes, we’re the heroes but, at the moment, we can be the back-up support. The NHS and the Health Service, they are the real heroes now. It’s the same for me in Norway, watching what is happening there. I think we all realise how much [is being done] and I don’t think we should save money on health. Health is a critical thing. Sorry for the political message, it just got me involved there!

I can call it a shame but it’s just life now. We’ve all got to adjust and I think everyone knows what is more important than anything now is people’s lives. When football is part of our life and, when football is back, we know normality has come back. I am sure the fans are eager to come back but they also have a part to play. Let’s make sure we get through this together

I think we all know the situation now. We’re all patient and looking forward to football coming back to the stadiums and on TV but, in the meantime, we’ve all got a real important role to play in staying at home and following the guidelines to help the NHS. If anyone can volunteer and help, that’s fantastic and that’s the way we save lives

2020 04 07 Retrieve

[Man Utd boss Solskjaer hits back over coronavirus criticism] For me football is an easy target sometimes. For me it’s unfair to call on any individual or footballers as a group because I already know players do a great amount of work in the community, and players are doing a lot to help this situation. Discussions are taking place between players and clubs, what kind of contribution they’ll make. It’s not easy for anyone, and to be called out is not fair for me. Mistakes are being made and have been made by loads of people and that’s how we learn as well. Now it’s about making better decisions, good decisions, I think we all want to help the NHS, the communities, and I think it’s important every single club do what they think is right. We’re all good people, and I’m sure we all want this to be over with as soon as possible. For me it’s about following the guidelines from the government as well

First of all, we are role models, sometimes we’re heroes in football, at the moment we have to take a back step, the real heroes are the workers on the front line, I think everyone appreciates and admires what they’re doing. Let’s follow the guidelines, but football is very important for mental health for many, and for communities and society. I’ve seen players do video conferences, challenges to each other, sending messages and sticking to those messages, being role models. Football is such a big thing, so even a little fun game of FIFA, it’s great that they can just show that footballers are normal people who are good at kicking a ball once in a while

2020 04 08 Retrieve

[Man Utd could ‘exploit’ transfer market after coronavirus crisis] Football is going to get back to normality at one point, and it’s very important we’re ready when that happens. We want to be the best at everything, and of course now is a chance to spend more time, you discuss players, discuss plans, we’ve evaluated what we need, of course with the coaching staff we’ve looked at games, evaluated games, discussing on video calls like this. Then, the market, who knows how the market is going to react to this? Who knows which clubs need to sell players? There might be just a situation there where you can exploit, and I know that we at Man Utd we are one of the biggest, and the biggest, financially well-off. I’m sure we are capable, when we get back to normality, that we can do the business that we want to

[Coronavirus has seen the Premier League suspended indefinitely] Of course, there will be text messages and WhatsApp messages more often. But the biggest difference for most of us is that when you’re a footballer you don’t really get to spend much time with your family. That’s been a big plus, if you’re allowed to say that anything has been a big plus in this situation. But yes, we are planning, we are discussing what we have to do, what we can do, and I have to say the club has been very good so far

2020 04 10 Retrieve

[Red Devils manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer suggested earlier this week that the club are in a good position to exploit the transfer market] Football is going to get back to normality at one point, and it’s very important we’re ready when that happens. We want to be the best at everything, and of course now is a chance to spend more time, you discuss players, discuss plans, we’ve evaluated what we need, of course with the coaching staff we’ve looked at games, evaluated games, discussing on video calls like this. Then, the market, who knows how the market is going to react to this? Who knows which clubs need to sell players? There might be just a situation there where you can exploit, and I know that we at Man Utd we are one of the biggest, and the biggest, financially well-off. I’m sure we are capable, when we get back to normality, that we can do the business that we want to.

2020 04 13 Retrieve

[The 22-year-old Rashford has built on those traits and retains that courage today, with Solskjaer singling him out for praise back in December] That is what the Stretford End wants to see. They love to see forwards play with courage. We do expect a lot from him because he has shown his ability so many times.

You can define players by waiting or expecting things to happen or you can make things happen. He made them happen by his movement and decision-making, being direct and positive

It’s very easy to compare the two of them [Rashford vs CR7], yes. Both with skills, body shape, attitude, attributes – everything. The boy has every chance in the world to become a top, top player. Let’s hope he continues like this

2020 04 15 Retrieve

[Solskjaer insisted that Rojo still has a future with United] Marcos is a lovely lad, he’s got the fire in his belly, he’s a winner and he wasn’t getting enough football here. It was important for him to start playing. He wants to come back a fitter and better player, hopefully having played well for Estudiantes and helped [Estudiantes chairman] Seba [Veron] and his club, and gone to the Copa America. So that was something we just had to do

2020 04 19 Retrieve

[Fernandes proving to be the leader Man Utd need on and off the pitch] I saw what he can do on the pitch but also his leadership qualities

2020 04 20 Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer stressed the importance of the players’ mental well-being] The biggest thing for me is that we’re mentally coping and doing the right things

2020 04 28 Retrieve

[United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did not rule out Sanchez fulfilling the remaining two years of his contract with the Premier League club] Alexis will come back in the summer and will prove youse all wrong

2020 05 08 Retrieve

[Man Utd boss Solskjaer braced for ‘new world’ in transfer market due to coronavirus] We’re always looking to improve the squad. This uncertainty in the market now, who knows how football and the market is going to be, but I’m very happy with the squad I’ve got. Today’s world is different to what it was two months ago. We’ve got to adjust, adapt, there’s clubs out there struggling more than us financially. It’s a new world, and I think the transfer market this summer will be completely different to what anyone thought it would be.

I think Mason [Greenwood], Anthony [Martial] and Marcus [Rashford] have been fantastic this season, they’ve scored up to 50 goals between them. Marcus got his injury, on course for his best season, Anthony too, and Mason of course is just a unique talent with his goal-scoring ability

2020 05 08b Retrieve

[Man Utd boss Solskjaer excited by prospect of Pogba & Bruno Fernandes midfield partnership] Good players can always play together, so definitely, they can - it’s a big yes. I think it’s exciting. We do have an exciting squad. I’ve got Scott [McTominay], Fred, Nemanja [Matic]. There’s many games coming up and I’m sure we can find a good connection between them. We’ve been discussing that as a coaching team of course, and we’re looking forward to it.

[Asked if the World Cup winner is raring to go when action does resume] Definitely. He’s had a difficult season with injuries, he said that himself. Of course Marcus has as well. For them two it gives them a chance to start on a par or even ahead of the other players. They have been focused mentally so it’s maybe easier for them to train harder now because they can see light at the end of the tunnel. It’s exciting, we do have an exciting squad. Bruno coming in and making an impact is great for everyone it was a boost for the club. Getting Pogba and Marcus back would be fantastic. Eric Bailly too, he came back and the performances he put in were fantastic. We’re in good shape fitness-wise. We are looking forward to starting when and if that will be

[Solskjaer said he would not force any of his players back if they didn’t feel comfortable] No, you wouldn’t hold anything against them [if they didn’t want to play]. If a player isn’t mentally ready to play I don’t think we could force anyone. They’ve not raised too many concerns. We trust the experts and the health officers and who knows if and when it’s safe to start again.

2020 05 10 Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Pogba] Pogba has had a difficult season with injuries, he said that himself and of course Marcus as well. For them two it gives them a chance to start on a par or even ahead of the other players. They have been focused mentally so it’s maybe easier for them to train harder now because they can see light at the end of the tunnel

2020 05 11 Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has compared Manchester United to the Michael Jordan-inspired Chicago Bulls side of the 1990s] You don’t put [anything] on hold. You always think football, it never stops, and if you’re in the job or not in the job, if you’ve been bitten by the football bug you’re always going to spend time on it. I don’t think I’ve been different to anyone else. You watch TV, you watch series, you’ve got to switch off from football. You find Netflix, you find The Last Dance with Michael Jordan! It takes me back to when I was a player and the great team with Sir Alex. Michael Jordan, as a leader, you think Roy Keane straight away. So many similarities to my team seeing that team. It’s been inspiring and a great watch

2020 05 21 Retrieve

[Solskjaer: I’d rather have a hole in my Man Utd squad than an asshole] I’d rather have a hole in the squad than an asshole. Personality is so important. We’re a team in a team environment. You want players to have a bit of ego and edge but they have to be able to adapt. In March 2019, players were physically tired, mentally tired and we had injuries. The players started with negative thinking, whereas now it’s positive thinking. There were other things I didn’t like last year, some personal agendas which couldn’t be sorted out until the summer. There will always be players who want to play more in football, but if a team is to be successful then players have to be available at different times. I feel in this group we don’t have one bad apple

When you win, everything is easy. It’s when you hit difficult times that you can see who you want and who has the right mentality. We didn’t see that until after Paris, when we went into a bad run. That’s when I saw who I could build a long-term, successful squad around. You need some egos in football, but it has to be team first. I could see more and more at the end of the season what needed improving

2020 05 22 Retrieve

[Solskjaer reveals Mourinho moaned about Man Utd away dressing room] We had a chat before the game. I’d not really met him before, only briefly when he was at Chelsea and they played Cardiff. We had a nice chat. He was complaining about the away dressing room, the one that he’d changed! There was a positive atmosphere between us – it was good to have him back

I’m a Red through and through. United matters to me. I’m honest, I’m loyal. I’m a club man. I plan for the long term and I want the best for the club long term. I’d like to think they thought I had the personality to manage Manchester United.

2020 05 26 Retrieve

[Solskjaer gives update on Ighalo’s Manchester United future] The loan deal went until the end of May now, so obviously he’s supposed to be going back. It’s been a dream for him and hopefully he can finish off what he started, hopefully with a trophy for us. At the moment, nothing has been agreed. Their league is going to get started soon so we’re just waiting to see.

They [Rashford and Pogba] are looking good, they’ve joined training now and they’ve done everything the other boys have been doing. No reaction so far, touch wood. When we get started, it looks like we can have a full squad to choose from

2020 05 26b Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Pogba & Rashford ‘looking good’ for Man Utd] They’re looking good, they’ve joined training now and they’ve done everything the other boys have been doing. No reaction so far, touch wood. When we get started, it looks like we can have a full squad to choose from

That’s what you do when you’re a footballer, you just want to play football. Of course, the first step now has been coming together, obviously in small groups, but they’ve enjoyed that. I think when we start training in full groups, of course we need a bit of time to gel again, but they’re mentally ready and physically they look okay too

[He said on being back in training] The boys have been fantastic, the weather’s been good and they’ve enjoyed it. Hopefully now we’ve proved we can do this safely and we can move to the next step. It’s been really enjoyable being on the training ground again. Everyone’s looking sharp, everyone’s been in with a good mood and we’ve been splitting up in groups so [working in] fours and fives together and they’ve really done well. Hopefully, they can as I said, step up and go to bigger training groups but so far it’s been good. The players have been looking after themselves. They’ve done well. Charlie [Owen] the fitness coach, Kieran [McKenna], Michael [Carrick] and Martyn [Pert] have been on to them all the time. They’ve not had many days off! There have been video calls and of course the last couple of weeks they’ve been stepping it up.

2020 05 27 Retrieve

[Ighalo given hope over Man Utd stay as Red Devils enter late talks with Shanghai Shenhua] The loan deal went until the end of May now, so obviously he’s supposed to be going back. We’re in dialogue. They’ve been great towards us, his club, and allowed him to play for his dream club. It’s been a dream for him and hopefully he can finish off what he started, hopefully with a trophy for us. At the moment, nothing has been agreed. Their league is going to get started soon so we’re just waiting to see

2020 05 29 Retrieve

[Ronaldo and Scholes make Solskjaer’s dream six-a-side team of Manchester United legends] I’d definitely be in it. Edwin probably, maybe David [de Gea] but maybe I can’t pick the ones I’m managing so I’d pick Edwin as the keeper. I’d have to have Jaap at the back. Giggsy would play with his skills. Cristiano, me, Keano and Scholsey. How many is that?

2020 05 31 Retrieve

[Last week, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was hopeful of Ighalo staying to finish what he started] We’re in dialogue. They’ve been great towards us, his club, and allowed him to play for his dream club. It’s been a dream for him and hopefully he can finish off what he started, hopefully with a trophy for us. At the moment, nothing has been agreed. Their league is going to get started soon so we’re just waiting to see

2020 06 01 Retrieve

[Manchester United confirm Ighalo loan extension until January 2021] It’s been a dream for him and hopefully he can finish off what he started, with a trophy for us. […] Everyone’s looking sharp, everyone’s been in with a good mood and we’ve been splitting up in groups, so [working in] fours and fives together, and they’ve really done well. So far it’s been good

2020 06 06 Retrieve

[Solskjaer impressed with Man Utd’s return to training] Training has been about recapping what we did well, tweaking maybe one or two things and looking at some new ideas. But hopefully we can see a lot of what we saw towards the end before the lockdown. We’ve got games coming weekend, midweek, weekend for a spell, so you have to focus on ourselves and not just on that one, first game. We’ve been looking forward to these games for ages really. It does make it feel like, ‘Yes, we’re here soon’. The first game is two weeks from today [Friday], so we need to step up the training and get an edge to our game again. Everyone knows that we will have to be at our best, have to be focused [against Tottenham]. We know it’s a big game for everyone. We had Chelsea when we started the league this season, so I’m confident that our players can go into the Tottenham game with that mentality of going there to play a very good game of football

In any interview, I’d say, ‘Yes the mood is great and the spirit’s good’ but it has been really good. I think everyone can see over the last few months how the players have behaved and dealt with the situation and how we as a club have dealt with it. The players have kept themselves fit as well, which has been great. The weather was fantastic when they got going in small groups and gradually now, as we’ve got into contact training, you can see a little bit more of the edge but also the camaraderie and team bonding. That’s vital for me in a team. That’s one of the main things, that we are a team and the team goes before anything else

2020 06 08 Retrieve

[Solskjaer makes Ronaldo Man Utd admission when picking out dream signings] That’s not fair, that’s very unfair. I can only have one? I would probably pick, can I pick two? They didn’t even play the final (in the Champions League against Bayern Munich). Roy Keane and Paul Scholes. I think I would pick those two. It’s unfair to Cristiano Ronaldo, who is the best player in the world of course. I played with him so I would like to have him in my team as well but Keane and Scholes, what an unbelievable midfield

[Solskjaer added on the qualities he is looking for from those fortunate enough to be given a chance to represent one of the biggest teams on the planet] I did feel that I was professional and did feel privileged to play for Manchester United. I wouldn’t be able to look at myself if I didn’t know I’d given everything for my team-mates and my manager. That’s what I also now look for in players that we sign or we bring up from the youth team. You have to have a good personality and that you are professional because one rotten apple in the basket will make the others rotten

So for me it’s about building a team that will reflect me and my coaching staff’s personalities and views. Of course there are standards because we want to win. We are in the business to win. But the first step to be a Man United player and person, you have to be humble enough to know you have to work hard. Never give in and always do your best, 100 per cent effort is required every day and don’t think you are better than you are. You still have to play with that confidence at the same time. It’s a fine balance but that is what is going to make the difference when we want to get to the championship again that we want to win

2020 06 08b Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer expects to have Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford at his disposal when Premier League action resumes] Well, we hope everybody’s going to be ready for the first game. We’ve had time out so I don’t think we can expect that those lads who’ve missed lots of the football can last the full game. But now the rules have changed, we can use five subs and have nine on the bench. I think that’s helpful because footballers, after being out for so long, going into competitive games will be a challenge for them and we have to look after them injury-wise and fitness-wise. We can’t just flog one player and say to them, ‘you play every game and every minute’ because it might be a period when we have to rotate quite often.

[Solskjaer intends to make full use of his squad from this point] We have a big squad, a strong squad and at the moment, loads of these players can prepare for the first game and hope to play in the first game and then if you don’t play in the first, you might play the second or the third. So that’s what it is about at Man United, being in the squad, being in the team, being ready when you’re asked upon

Of course, when you get to Man United, you want to end the season with trophies. But trophies won’t be what we’re talking about now. We’ve got to make sure we make this short spell before next season a good one for us and if it ends up with trophies, fantastic. We’ve just got to focus on what we can control and that’s our own performances. If that takes us to a final or two, it would be great. I’m focused on each game as it comes but also on developing this team. It’s a young team with some great talent, some great work-rate, personalities … the human qualities in the group are fantastic. And of course, Paul and Marcus are back, Eric has been out for a long time, Scott [McTominay] was out for a long time, so we want to gel the team together again

2020 06 09 Retrieve

[Pogba stuck at Man Utd for now as summer transfer dreams drift away] I don’t need to comment through the media on Mino and what he says. I can probably speak to him myself. You can’t control it anyway, everyone’s got a voice and you can have your own opinion. There are things being said about us where you want to comment but you’d rather not and it’s more clever that you don’t comment on many different things. It’s not my rapport, and Paul and Mino do have their conversations, but it’s fine

2020 06 10 Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Anthony Martial and Bruno Fernandes have hit it off] Anthony’s had a difficult season with injuries but he started the season really well and he’s finishing off […] well, the season’s not finished yet but he did really well towards the end. He’s working hard and for me Anthony was on the way to his best season at Manchester United so let’s see if he finishes it off and kicks on again. Tony and Bruno [Fernandes] have hit it off together so it’s a partnership that we hope can flourish. We knew he was a quality player and knew that when he came in he would have an impact straight away but you never know if he’s going to settle early in a new country but he’s taken to it like a duck to water

2020 06 12 Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been encouraged by Manchester United’s ‘camaraderie’ in training and is confident his squad will have the right mentality when the Premier League season resumes] The first game is two weeks away so we need to step up the training and get an edge to our game again. Everyone knows that we will have to be at our best, have to be focused against Tottenham. Gradually now, as we’ve got into contact training, you can see a little bit more of the edge but also the camaraderie and team bonding. That’s vital for me in a team. That’s one of the main things, that we are a team and the team goes before anything else

2020 06 14 Retrieve

[Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said that there is a place in his squad for Alexis Sanchez but indicated the Chile star would only be considered a squad player at present] Of course there’s a place for good players and good people in this environment. Let’s see where we get to after the season, because we do feel this squad is exciting. We do feel we’re on the way to something. It’s up to all the players when they’re here to do well, because there’s always talk of people coming in and out, and it’s about gelling this group together. Sometimes when you decorate your living room it might be a nice chair or nice sofa, but it maybe doesn’t go with the rest of it. For us to think about major honours, our focus is about finishing the league this season

2020 06 14b Retrieve

[Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has stated his belief that on-loan goalkeeper Dean Henderson can go on to become England No.1] Dean has made some great choices over the years and has developed fantastically. We’re looking at that in terms of where he’s going to be next season, but as yet that has not been decided. This season has proved a great experience for him, he’s done himself some favours with his performances and proved he will be England’s No.1 and Man United’s No.1 at some point

2020 06 14c Retrieve

[First-choice Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea signed a new four-year deal, with the option for a further year, last September, but Solskjaer is in no doubt about the progress 23-year-old Henderson continues to make] It’s not my job to keep the players happy or in the team or out of it. Part of it is their responsibility of performing and doing well. Dean has made some great choices over the years and developed fantastically - and still is

2020 06 15 Retrieve

[Dean Henderson will become Manchester United and England’s first-choice goalkeeper at some stage] Dean has made some great choices over the years and has developed fantastically. We’re looking at that in terms of where he’s going to be next season, but as yet that has not been decided. This season has proved a great experience for him, he’s done himself some favours with his performances, and proved he will be England’s No.1 and Man United’s No.1 at some point

[Solskjaer is not concerned by the prospect of De Gea or Henderson feeling unhappy with their lot if the two keepers are jostling for the No.1 jersey] It’s not my job to keep the players happy or in the team or out of it. Part of it is their responsibility of performing and doing well

2020 06 17 Retrieve

[Bruno Fernandes is looking forward to playing alongside Paul Pogba as Manchester United prepare to face Tottenham] Good players can always play together, so definitely, they can - it’s a big yes. I think it’s exciting […] we do have an exciting squad. I’ve got Scott [McTominay], Fred, Nemanja [Matic].There’s many games coming up and I’m sure we can find a good connection between them. We’ve been discussing that as a coaching team of course, and we’re looking forward to it. Of course Bruno coming in, making the impact he made, it was a boost for everyone, the club, supporters and players. Getting Paul and Marcus Rashford back would be fantastic.

2020 06 18 Retrieve

[Man Utd provide Angel Gomes contract update] With Angel, he’s a top kid we’ve had at the club for so many years, we’ve offered him a deal and hopefully he’ll take that and if not I wish him all the best. From what I understand it’s not too far away, if not we’ll wish him all the best

[Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba are in contention to start] If selected, Marcus (Rashford) and Paul (Pogba) have been out for a long, long period. They’re available but how long they’re going to play for, let’s see

It’s an honour to have Marcus and what he’s done during this lockdown… he’s been unbelievable, when he can help so many people that need it; so many kids. He’s taken from his own experience when he was a kid. I know how much it means for the kids and we, as a club, are immensely proud of him. He’s obviously a top footballer but he’s also a fantastic human being - a future leader, a future captain, maybe, of England, Man United, who knows? He’s already captained the team at the age of 22-23. We’re really proud of him and his family must be so proud as well of what he has achieved

2020 06 18b Retrieve

[Manchester United to donate Black Lives Matter shirt printing proceeds to Kick It Out] We all know this [racism] shouldn’t happen in 2020 and players, Premier League teams, we all make a stand and say enough is enough, that’s good and I don’t expect anything different. I feel now maybe this time finally is changing and it’s been on the agenda now for many many years, this issue of racism and we’ve had a couple of instances, talked about it, maybe forgotten but this time hopefully it will affect more people, leader of countries and decision makers but we all support the actions

2020 06 18c Retrieve

[Solskjaer hails Pogba as he mulls over Manchester United selection dilemma] Of course Paul has had his difficult season this year with loads of injuries, but I can see his mentality and focus now that he is fit, training and available, that he is ready to play again and to prove he has always had quality. He is one of the best midfielders in the world so hopefully we can get that going as soon as possible. I want the same from Paul as from all the others - that we give our best, and Paul is one of the best midfielders in the world so we expect him to gradually improve as he gets more and more game time. Gradually over these next few months we can work him up back to his best. Paul has had a very good career. He is a World Cup winner and we want to have that leadership on the pitch as well

I think I have got very good options, I am very happy with the squad. The five of them any of them would be capable of playing a full season at Manchester United and being a regular so it’s given me not a problem but a nice challenge to choose and pick the right ones when they are in the right form when they are against the right opponents. Nemanja (Matic), Scott (McTominay), Fred have had a fantastic turnaround all of them. They have had a good season, Bruno (Fernandes) came in with a great impact and Paul getting back fit can only help us because he does have qualities that no one else has

2020 06 19 Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has reiterated his belief that Paul Pogba] Paul Pogba is one of the best players in the world and he has been training hard, training well but I need to make sure I look after everyone. We have the Europa League, FA Cup and Paul will gradually play more and a vital part. When you are happy outside football, you will be happy on the pitch. Marcus Rashford is a fine human being, a fine young man and he has been looking good in training. We will see the best from him

2020 06 20b Retrieve

[United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was even asked about his former team-mate’s criticism of De Gea after the game in London] Roy was a fantastic midfielder, a good friend of mine, but I’m not sure he would have stopped [Bergwijn’s shot] either. David is disappointed with it but the ball is moving through the air. He also had a good save five minutes after, when we had a bad spell and they looked like they could get a second

[United rightly allowed Henderson to finish the current campaign at Bramall Lane] Dean has made some great choices over the years and has developed fantastically. We’re looking at that in terms of where he’s going to be next season, but as yet that has not been decided. This season has proved a great experience for him, he’s done himself some favours with his performances, and proved he will be England’s No.1 and Man United’s No.1 at some point.

2020 06 20c Retrieve

[Solskjaer defends De Gea from Keane criticism] Well I’m disappointed to [see them] score the first time they have a chance and the boy hit it really well. Roy was a fantastic midfielder, a good friend of mine, I’m not sure he would have stopped it either. David is disappointed with it but the ball is moving through the air, we reacted well after that one and he had a good save five minutes after, we had a bad spell for 10 minutes and they looked like they could get a second

Good performance, disappointed with the one point. I think we deserved more. I think the performance deserved three points. We started off slow, dominated possession yes but too slow then we conceded a sloppy goal - disappointed with that one. We had a bad five minutes after that one but after that I think it was only a matter of time before we got the goal. Hugo Lloris made a fantastic save and we should have had more goals

2020 06 20c Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is looking forward to seeing more of Paul Pogba in Manchester United’s starting XI] I think Paul always has a point to prove to himself and us. He expects a lot. He wants to be the best, loves football and has had such a frustrating season with his injuries. There’ll always be talk about big players. For me, Paul’s shown today how he can contribute. He tackled, won the ball, created chances and had the skill to win us a penalty. I look forward to getting him fitter and gradually we’ll see him more and more. It’s not a problem having a fit Paul Pogba in the squad, we’re delighted to have him back

It is a definite partnership that we want to build on. They have trained together now they have had half an hour on the pitch together. We want the best players on the pitch of course and want to find a balance in the team.

[Pogba] has had horrific injury-hit season and he is desperate to make up for lost time. It is great to see him show his qualities and the contribution he made was big in us getting a penalty. I think he showed how good he is as an all-round midfielder.

2020 06 22 Retrieve

[While De Gea has struggled to impress at Old Trafford, Dean Henderson has impressed on loan with Sheffield United.] Dean has made some great choices over the years and has developed fantastically. We’re looking at that in terms of where he’s going to be next season, but as yet that has not been decided. This season has proved a great experience for him, he’s done himself some favours with his performances, and proved he will be England’s No.1 and Man United’s No.1 at some point

2020 06 23 Retrieve

[McTominay signs new Man Utd deal to keep him at club until 2025] Scott has done tremendously well since I joined and has been a vital part of our midfield. He brings determination, tenacity and skill to the game and we know that Scott’s attributes will be a major asset to the squad over the coming years. As we always say the academy is the bedrock of the club and having come through the system everyone knows that Scott has shown the exact mentality that you need to succeed at Manchester United. I look forward to seeing his continued improvement in the years to come

2020 06 23b Retrieve

[Solskjaer backs Man Utd goalkeeper amid calls for Henderson] David is the best goalkeeper in the world. He’s conceded two goals in the last seven he’s played for us. There are [games against] City, Chelsea, Tottenham, Everton, two goals in seven games. The Everton one is a freak one, this one he can’t save it, he makes great saves, wins games for us and he’s still the best goalkeeper in the world. David is working really hard, he isn’t making errors in training. I’m pleased with his work. He’s had some fantastic seasons and I don’t think it’s a bad run if you concede two goals in seven games, he’s made match-winning saves. He saved a point for us against Tottenham with the save [from Heung-Min Son’s headed effort], mentally he’s a very strong keeper but I speak to him every day, that’s fine

It’s a different job to be playing for Sheffield United and for Manchester United, they are different. He’s got different roles and for the last two years he’s had fantastic development, played with and against men, played in the Championship and he plays in a team that plays exciting football. The stats show he’s proved worthy of a few points. He’s learning all the time, a passionate keeper, developing, with good coaching. One day he’ll be England No.1 and United No.1 and he needs to keep developing

2020 06 23c Retrieve

[Solskjaer hints Henderson will have to wait to become Man Utd No.1] We need to make sure Dean plays football to develop, so we’re going to make a decision later on. He’s had two fantastic years and we appreciate what Sheffield United have done with him as well. So that’s an option, for him to stay at Sheffield United

I think Dean has had a fantastic couple of years at Sheffield United and I think eventually he will end up as England’s No.1 and Man Utd’s No.1. But he’s got the best goalkeeper in the world to tip [De Gea] off his place and for me David is still developing and still getting better and better. We’re going to make a decision on Dean as it comes

I think Sergio is the best No.2 in the world. He’s so professional, even though he wants to play every game. He challenges David but they’re also good friends. Every day in training there’s a good atmosphere and environment there, but of course he’s disappointed every time I choose not to play him. I’ve got a good problem, we’ve got a good problem, a challenge to decide how our goalkeeping department is going to look next season because you can’t have three or four top keepers there

2020 06 24 Retrieve

[A lot has changed since that dramatic 3-3 draw at Bramall Lane. United are certainly in a better place now than they were eight months ago] They looked like they wanted it more than us and believed more than us

[Unleash Greenwood! Man Utd’s teenage sensation is stronger than ever before] I am not sure it was deliberate but the fitness coaches have worked really well with him. He has got the rest and recovery period he needed after what must have been an intense first full season with the first team for him, and now he is looking very good. I am looking forward to seeing more of Mason, as he will score more goals. He has filled out over the lockdown period and his performances in training have been great as well, so I am sure he will have an impact on the rest of the season.

2020 06 24b Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted that Manchester United are not yet ready to challenge for the title] We’ve developed over the season and I think now we had a spell of 11 unbeaten. But then you add Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford to that and you’re thinking ‘yeah, we’re not too far away’ and I’m very happy with the squad. If there are any good deals to be made and players who can make us better, of course, we might have to spend some money on that. But the squad is great to work with and it’s moving in the right direction. We’re still not where we want to be, close enough to challenge for the Premier League trophy but we take one step at a time. Obviously City and Liverpool the last couple of seasons have put the standard where it should be to win the league. Hopefully now we can challenge for the Europa League, FA Cup this season, top four and then let’s see how much we can invest for next season

2020 06 24c Retrieve

[Solskjaer targeting third-place finish for Man Utd after ‘special’ Martial hat-trick] At times it was very, very good football we could and should have scored more goals to put the game to bed before half time. It’s always worrying going into half time knowing you should have scored [more] goals the way we controlled the game, pressed and stopped them playing. I’m very happy with it but there is still more to come and we shouldn’t be 100 per cent happy with it

I have never said fourth is our aim. We want to win, we want to go up to third, of course we want to. Hopefully we can count the points and only have two teams ahead of us at the end.

The third goal was a great goal. But for me the first and the second were better. He’s in the box, ready to go. We have worked on that, getting in the box in that situation more often. At the near post he showed composure and I think, as I said, the first goal was vital the way he turns and gets himself into a position to score from Marcus’ cross. [I’m] very pleased with that. He’s getting more and more into those position he could have had one at Spurs - a great turn and finish and a great save, he’s in good form.

2020 06 24d Retrieve

[Solskjaer warns wasteful Man Utd to be more clinical despite Martial masterclass] The build-up into the last pass or finish was good, but we need to do better with all the spaces we created. I do expect them to take those moments. It didn’t cost us today. We know we played well but we can do so much better. There’s been games where we have dominated and not taken our chances, so we need to take our chances – that’s what I’m saying. We created enough to win by more and in other games we’ve created enough to win them but not taken them. We need to take the chances and on the last pass be aggressive and progressive enough with our passing

[Aaron Wan-Bissaka assuaged doubts over the attacking side of his game with a superb assist for Martial’s] He’s a former winger, he had another couple of great crosses as well. We need to be on the end of those. Aaron is developing all the time. He’s not played full-back many years and he’ll only get better.

[Paul Pogba turned in a polished performance on his first start since September] Paul was quality out there. He settled us, good decision making, good passing, hard to take the ball off him. I’m very pleased that we can get more minutes into him and let’s see what we do in the weeks coming

2020 06 25 Retrieve

[Matic playing his way towards Man Utd deal] I’m very, very happy that we’re seeing the best of Nemanja and he’ll be important for us and then, of course, it’s down to performances and if Nemanja wants to stay but at the moment he’s in great form

2020 06 25b Retrieve

[Martial finally breaks Man Utd’s hat-trick duck] The third goal was a great goal. But for me, the first and the second were better. He’s in the box, ready to go. We have worked on that, getting in the box in that situation more often

2020 06 25c Retrieve

[Solskjaer says Matic playing his way towards another Man Utd contract if he wants one] Nemanja is playing some of his best football. He’s had a good pre-season for the first time in many, many years and today he was dictating the game and his experience is vital for us. I’m very, very happy that we’re seeing the best of Nemanja and he’ll be important for us and then, of course, it’s down to performances and if Nemanja wants to stay but at the moment he’s in great form

It is always good to play with top players and we are lucky we have top players in every position. [Against Sheffield United] I played with Bruno and Paul and we did really well. It was a good formation and I am sure in the future we can improve a lot together also with Scott [McTominay] and Fred when they play with us.

I am especially happy for Anthony scoring his first hat trick. It is very important for him to score goals. It is important for every striker for confidence. I am happy that our strikers are in good condition and for me, Anthony was man of the match. He used almost every chance he had to score. Let us see in the future what he can do for us but I am happy for him and congratulations to him.

2020 06 26 Retrieve

[Jesse Lingard is poised to return to action for Manchester United against Norwich City after recovering from illness, says manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer] Jesse has come back after the lockdown with a smile on his face, loads of energy. Unfortunately last week he fell ill for a couple of days, but we have done all the tests and he’s fine now so he’ll be involved against Norwich now. Hopefully he can kick on because he’s scored vital goals for us and he is a vital player for us. So let’s see what the future holds because at the moment he is looking really sharp and focused

[Having established himself as a solid defender, Wan-Bissaka is beginning to show what he can do going forward] You saw an exceptional defender when I watched him last season, he had a couple of games especially against [Leroy] Sane against Man City and you think, ‘Wow he’s so hard to go past’. Then when we managed to sign him you get to know him, he’s a shy boy, he wants to learn, he listens and he’s providing more and more assists, create chances, crosses – it’s in him, because he’s been a winger. The best full-backs at the moment, sometimes they’ve been wingers before. We rely on them to go forwards with the way we want to play. I’m very pleased with his progress.

[Solskjaer admitted it hurts everyone associated with Manchester United to see Liverpool win the Premier League title] That’s the feeling everyone associated with United has - all our playing staff and supporters. Of course, we want to get back to winning ways and that is our challenge

2020 06 26b Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed it hurts everyone associated with Manchester United to see Liverpool win the Premier League title] Any team that wins the Premier League deserves it, they deserve credit. It is a hard league to win. Credit to Jurgen and his players. Every time you see anyone else lift a trophy, it hurts. That’s the feeling everyone associated with Manchester United has - all our playing staff and supporters. Of course, we want to get back to winning ways and that is our challenge

[Solskjaer doesn’t think Klopp’s side are in a position to consistently deliver titles] The run of titles that we won under Sir Alex, I don’t think that’s going to be easy for anyone to emulate or copy. Sir Alex was a master of staying at the top so, for me, our challenge is to make sure we don’t go, say, 26 years or more until the next time we win it. We’re going to do everything we can to shorten the distance or even go past them, of course

[United are currently in fifth place in the Premier League table, 37 points behind the champions] I don’t think it is time to say how far behind [United are]. We are in a position where we have to improve, we have to get into the Champions League, get higher up the league and start challenging for trophies. That consistency and efficiency they have shown - that is a challenge for us as well. We know at our best we are very good. We have to do it again and again and that is the challenge for our players going forward

2020 06 27 Retrieve

[Solskjaer admits uncertainty over Manchester United’s transfer budget] I think the pandemic has hit everyone really hard. I still think we need to wait and see how things are panning out to know the real effects of the pandemic, to know what kind of financial state we are in. You see some teams invest, some teams don’t. We’ll have to take a big look at things ourselves to see how hard we’ve been hit.

I know the club has announced a few numbers before. It’s not for me to say here now we are going to have X amount because I don’t really know.

I don’t really know how hard we have been hit. We are a financially strong club, but we are also probably being hit more than anybody else. Let’s see how quickly we can get our fans back into the stadium and of course the league position is going to be important for us this season.

If we can get a trophy, the FA Cup or the Europa League. The Europa League will also qualify us for the Champions League, there’s still a lot of uncertainty and these three or four months, every businessman in the world, every footballer in the world, I think everyone is still unsure what the effect will be.

[One player’s future who remains up in the air is Paul Pogba] Yes we are looking to keep Paul here and we are looking to keep the best players here anyway. I am certain that they can play well together yes because they have proven both in training in the games when they play together that it’s exciting. There will be rotations and times when Paul will play up with Bruno sometimes deeper. Sometimes he will play in a diamond. Of course it has been encouraging to see them together but its also encouraging to see how Nemanja [Matic], Scott [McTominay] and Fred are making it difficult for me to leave them out which is good for me as a coach. You want to give Paul the chance to get 100 percent fit and back to his best. He has been out for so long but I think it says everything about the quality of the boy in his performances.

2020 06 27b Retrieve

[Lingard has a year left on his current contract with the option to extend for a further year] Jesse has always been a very fit boy and he’s working hard. He is an athletic boy. So now it is time to give him a chance again. We know how he has worked. He has had his challenges. Jesse knows what it takes to be a Man United player and he has scored important goals for us. FA Cup Final obviously we remember that. Hopefully, Jesse can take his chance and we see the best of him again. We know there is a top player there

2020 06 27c Retrieve

[Speaking ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final against Norwich City] We’ve got to be honest enough to say it is more difficult now. We’ve always had challengers, whether it was Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool. But most of the time it was just one of them challenging us. Finishing third wasn’t normal. Now there are at least four, maybe five teams that can win the league and the cups

[Amid doubts over Pogba’s future and whether the duo can work together] I’m certain they can play well together, yes. They’ve both played well in training and in the games they play together it’s exciting. There will be rotations and there will be times that Paul will play up with Bruno, sometimes it’s deeper, sometimes we will play with a diamond. It’s encouraging to see them together. It’s also encouraging to see how Nemanja [Matic], Scott [McTominay] and Fred are making it difficult for me to keep them out. It’s a good position to be in as a coach and you want to give Paul a chance to get 100 per cent fit with practice and rest. He’s been out for so long and I think it says everything about the boy with the quality of his performances

2020 06 27d Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was forced to dodge an awkward question over Manchester United’s plans for Jadon Sancho, refusing to rule out a bid for the Borussia Dortmund star] I’m good at maths, but I can’t answer that question. There are many good footballers on many teams. If something is in front of us screaming that it’s sensible, both from a sporting and a financial perspective, I know we’re going to try, but you can’t make any promises. We expect Jadon to play with BVB next season and we’re all very happy with the quality that he brings to our side and the difference that he can make

2020 06 27e Retrieve

[Solskjaer lauds Ighalo impact against Norwich] It is great to have the option to rotate. Anthony Martial came on and did brilliant, but Odion gives me a chance to rotate. He’s a proven goalscorer and played his part in both goals. He is a great person to have around the dressing room too. Odion knows how much we value him in and around the dressing room; he’s a goalscorer, a poacher, he’s strong, we can play the ball into him, he showed for the second and Paul [Pogba] found him. It was very important (to keep him at the club), that was important for me and we worked hard to do it

2020 06 27f Retrieve

[Solskjaer explains why Man Utd struggled against Norwich and praises substitutes’ impact in FA Cup win] We’re really happy with going through, Jesse (Lingard) and the others that hadn’t played and needed another game, they needed minutes to get the sharpness back and in that respect this worked out really well. The difference between training and games, the competitive edge, will help them in the next few months. This team, they played together against Derby in the last round, it took us too long to get into rhythm of trusting ourselves passing between the lines, one and two touches, we moved the ball a little bit too slowly. We kept prodding and we got the goals we needed

[While Solskjaer praised the impact of all the substitutes, he was particularly impressed with Anthony Martial] I thought Anthony came on and did really well, he made a little bit of a difference, runs down the channel, some great sprints and turns, he was positive, with 10 men we knew we had 30 minutes, we had to keep prodding and take our chances. With them being down to 10 men and us having dominated it was time to put all hands to the pump, get the forwards on, get Nemanja (Matic) playing centre-back, we only ended with one centre-back with Harry. Sometimes it doesn’t work as hoped, in training it looks great and on paper it looks great, they were really organised and they tired towards the end

[Solskjaer also praised Odion Ighalo after the striker scored his fifth goal in four starts for the club] It was very important (to keep him at the club), that was important for me and we worked hard to do it, Odion knows how much we value him in and around the dressing room, he’s a goal scorer, a poacher, he’s strong, we can play the ball into him, he showed for the second and Paul (Pogba) found him. He’s performing well but it also gives me the chance to rotate with Marcus (Rashford), Anthony and Mason (Greenwood) so they can get a rest and we’re fresh for every game

2020 06 27g Retrieve

[Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer unsure how coronavirus will impact transfers] I think the pandemic has hit everyone really hard. I still think we need to wait and see how things are panning out to know the real effects of the pandemic, to know what kind of financial state we are in. You see some teams invest, some teams don’t. We’ll have to take a big look at things ourselves to see how hard we’ve been hit. I know the club has announced a few numbers before

It’s not for me to say here now we are going to have X amount because I don’t really know. I don’t really know how hard we have been hit. We are a financially strong club, but we are also probably being hit more than anybody else. Let’s see how quickly we can get our fans back into the stadium and of course the league position is going to be important for us this season. If we can get a trophy, the FA Cup or the Europa League. The Europa League will also qualify us for the Champions League, there’s still a lot of uncertainty and these three or four months, every businessman in the world, every footballer in the world, I think everyone is still unsure what the effect will be

I feel that we have shown at our best that we can match the best teams. That is the challenge for me and the players certainly that we can have that consistency now. We cannot afford to have the bad periods that we had earlier on in the season. Of course anyone can get injuries and be out for a while. We are still one of the youngest teams in the league and we need to learn how to win games that this season we have drawn or lost. But yes I do see a team building and developing into a team how we see Man Utd and hopefully that can mean we will move up the table and challenge yes definitely

2020 06 28 Retrieve

[Ighalo equals 95-year-old Manchester United record with FA Cup goal against Norwich City] It is great to have the option to rotate. Anthony Martial came on and did brilliant, but Odion gives me a chance to rotate. He’s a proven goalscorer and played his part in both goals. He is a great person to have around the dressing room too. Odion knows how much we value him in and around the dressing room; he’s a goalscorer, a poacher, he’s strong, we can play the ball into him, he showed for the second and Paul [Pogba] found him

2020 06 28b Retrieve

[Harry Maguire struck an extra-time winner as Manchester United saw off spirited 10-man Norwich 2-1 to book their place in the FA Cup semi-finals] That’s cup football for you. The game was not the greatest, not the spectacle, but I felt we kept the ball OK, but we didn’t threaten enough, didn’t create chances. But you’re delighted that you’re in a semi-final. We’re in the last four. Good workout, we got minutes into many players, rested quite a few and some nice goals, good for Harry to get the winner

2020 06 28c Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says time has come for Man Utd to win trophies] We’re in the semi-finals and we’re delighted with that. Last year we got to the quarter-finals and lost to Wolves. Now, at least, we are in the semi-finals at Wembley. It’s important for this team to win their first trophy or to get to their first final together. That will help the winning culture because we have to start winning things

Harry has been magnificent since he’s come to the club, his leadership skills are there to be seen, he helped us with the build-up. I think he won every single header and every challenge, so I’m very pleased with Harry. The two goals are two different goals and maybe two goals you don’t expect from him - one from 30 yards in the top corner and then a poacher’s goal

[Ole salutes Ighalo influence] Odion knows how much we value him in and around the dressing room and, of course, on the pitch. He’s a goalscorer and a poacher, he’s strong and we can play the ball into him like we did on the winning goal. He’s performing well and that also gives me the chance to rotate with Marcus [Rashford], Anthony [Martial] and Mason [Greenwood] so they can get a rest and be fresh for every game

2020 06 29 Retrieve

[Manchester United midfielder Angel Gomes set to leave the club after failing to agree new contract] I’ve got no news, nothing, so it doesn’t look like it. I’ve not heard from them last night or this morning, it seems like they haven’t managed to agree so the answer is probably short and yes, then

2020 06 29b Retrieve

[United travel to Brighton on Tuesday night for their third league game since the restart] They’re a good footballing side, play football and make it hard for you, not been down there myself and fans, of course, they (the fans) matter and have an impact on games and football. To get out of this lockdown period is going to be fantastic but at the moment we have to deal with the situation as it is, and as an away team sometimes it helps you but then again when you’re at the bottom, the pressure of fans can get to you and give an extra edge

2020 06 29c Retrieve

[Solskjaer urged his team to be more clinical as a collective, but he has no concerns over Rashford individually] Of course Marcus has been out for a while but I think he’s looked sharp, he came on and looked sharp against Norwich. Against Sheffield United he missed one or two chances but the goals he created is what we’re focusing on and he’s on his way to his best season ever. I’m looking forward to him getting more minutes and he’ll definitely score a goal soon

[A semi-final encounter against Chelsea awaits with United the form team in England] The players are working really hard and want to do as well as they can and, for me, as a team we’re trying to implement our ideas. Talk about 14 games, we can talk about the next one - go into the next game knowing you’ve won the previous game. It’s a good place to be in

[United are firmly in the hunt for a top-four finish and victory at Brighton] I think every year you’re in the Champions League is a great experience, for the players it’s a step forward. For us it’s what we’re striving to do, winning trophies, and we need to focus on one game at a time and there are so many teams that want that place. We can’t get distracted about looking too far ahead and onto the next one

2020 06 29d Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Anthony Martial is learning from Odion Ighalo as he continues his development as a central striker] Odion is a seasoned No.9. He’s played that position his whole career whereas Anthony has played more out on the wing. Odion is helping on the training pitch, in terms of his movement, hold-up play and just being himself. Anthony’s learning off an experienced centre-forward

It’s the first season that he’s really playing as a No.9; he’s had to have that burden of the shirt and be that central focus through the middle. Sometimes that’s not easy when you play for Manchester United but he knows that we trust him and I think he knows that we want him to keep developing. We’ll keep challenging him. There are always players in and around the team - and outside the club - who would want to be No.9 for Manchester United. There’s always pressure on a centre-forward but so far, he’s performed really well

[Solskjaer also believes Martial isn’t just tackling the challenge of being No.9, but is enjoying it as well] He’s playing with a smile on his face. Anthony has had a really good season, he’s been really important for us. We felt it during the couple of months he was out injured; we struggled. But he knows that we trust him. He knows that we’ll have patience with him and that we’ll keep working with him

2020 06 29e Retrieve

[Solskjaer refuses to rule out Manchester United striker signing] You need competition for places at Manchester United. If you think you’ve got a divine right to be playing every game and are doing so well that we’re not going to look for players to replace you, you’re in the wrong place. I’ve been here myself for so many years as a striker and Teddy Sheringham comes in, Dwight Yorke comes in, Ruud van Nistelrooy comes in, Wayne Rooney comes in. We’ve always got to look at improving, and if they don’t improve, we might have to look somewhere else to get better because we have to be better. We’re too far away from where we need to be and want to be

I’ve always had faith in the forwards we have at the club - Mason, Marcus and Anthony. I think they’re boys who improve on trust, I think they’re good boys to talk to, discuss and sit with and they know that I trust them, they know I want the best for them, but they also know I’ve got to make decisions for the team and the club. They’ve all taken responsibility at different parts of the season and I’m delighted with all of them. I think all three have had a good development this season but they can be so much better. All three, I’m still waiting to see them blossom because there are parts of their game that they still need to improve on

Any Manchester United team should go into any game against any opposition believing they can win that game. The short answer is yes. But the long answer is that there’s more to it than that. Different things can play a part in this run but we hope to extend it and want it as long as possible

2020 06 29f Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has singled out Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba for Manchester United’s strong form in the final third, stating that they can create something out of nothing] The forward players know they have players behind them who can create something out of nothing. Bruno can create chances where there’s no space - a little flick around the corner; he’s been very good with his back to play. Paul creates too; they’re both creative players who can pick a pass, players with individual qualities. To be a centre-forward in front of these two is a joy. I’ve felt that myself playing with Paul Scholes, Juan Sebastian Veron, David Beckham, Ryan Giggs… it’s a nice position to be in.

I think we can play in many different ways. Bruno has played in central midfield, to the right, to the left, as a No.8, a No.10, in a diamond. It’s the same with Paul. And I have Scott McTominay, Fred, Nemanja Matic giving me a headache when I have to leave them out. It’s a good position to be in

If we keep playing well, keep developing, get into the top positions…I know we can attract good players and everyone knows that Manchester United at some point will start winning trophies again

2020 06 29g Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer expects the fight for Champions League qualification to go down to the wire] There’s many teams in that battle for third and fourth. You’ve got Leicester, Chelsea and us, and you’ve got Wolves doing really well. I’m sure Tottenham, Arsenal and Sheffield United will want to put a run together and challenge. Every year that you’re in the Champions League is a great experience and for the players it’s a step forward playing against the best. That’s what we’re striving to do and to get to, as well as winning trophies. To get there, we need to focus on one game at a time because there are many teams just above us and just below us that want that place. We don’t want to get distracted by looking too far ahead, we need to go one game at a time

2020 06 30 Retrieve

[Solskjaer on Angel Gomes] You can ask Angel Gomes why he’s not signed, I don’t know what the talks are behind the scenes. Angel’s a top kid. Of course there’s people around him that advise him to do different things. If he doesn’t sign all the best to Angel and I’m going to follow his career. If he signs for us, let’s kick on.

2020 06 30b Retrieve

[Maguire has a magnet on his head] I think his performances on the pitch say it all. He’s become club captain, he’s a leader and he’s chipping in with goals, so I’m very happy with Harry. He’s a big lad and he gets better and better the more he plays. I think we’ll see him improving more and more the games he plays. He’ll get his sharpness from games.

Definitely, and he should do. Tim Krul had a great save on Saturday from his header and we know that he’s a threat to anyone. I said it when we played Leicester last season it’s like he has a magnet on his head with the ball and we’re now getting used to him and his movement, with Bruno [Fernandes] coming up with some good deliveries. And we know when Harry is in there then anything can happen

[Solskjaer insists there will be no excuses for his side as they look to extend their 14-match unbeaten run] That’s the normal routine for a Man United player. You play midweek, weekend, midweek, weekend … you do that all the time. You can discuss other teams and say they have 24 hours more recovery and blah blah blah, but it doesn’t fit into my thinking. As soon as you sign for Man United you should be ready to play up to 60 games a season with a game every three or four days

2020 06 30c Retrieve

[Dean Henderson signed a new contract at Old Trafford in the summer and has been tipped by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to become Manchester United and England’s future No 1] It’s a different job to be playing for Sheffield United and for Manchester United. Dean Henderson’s got different roles and for me, the two years he’s had have been fantastic development. He’s had to play with men, he’s had to play against men, he’s played in the Championship, and plays in a team that play fantastic football and exciting football. And as the stats show he’s proved worthy of quite a few points. He’s learning all the time, he’s a passionate ‘keeper that wants to be the best, he’s developing, he’s got good coaching there and, I’ve said it before, one day he’ll be England No 1 and Man Utd No 1 and it’s up to him to keep developing

2020 07 01 Retrieve

[Mason Greenwood giving Manchester United new dimension on right wing] He has got a knack of that. He can go inside and he can go outside. He is just as good with his right foot as his left foot so he is developing into a fine player. We know that when he gets faced up and looking forward he’s dangerous but then I thought his hold-up play and his general link-up play today was great

2020 07 01b Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: Man Utd full of confidence and quality] We are full of confidence and full of quality as well. The boys played some exceptional stuff. It’s always hard playing against Brighton, Graham [Potter’s] team keep the ball well, but we pressed well and started really well

[Mason Greenwood fired United ahead inside 16 minutes with his sixth Premier League goal] We were looking for that moment to get a goal, and Mason’s first was brilliant. He played fantastically. He’s a young kid and we know when he goes forward, he’s dangerous. His hold-up play and link-up play was great. He has a knack [of scoring] he can go inside or outside and is good on either foot. He’s developing into a fine player

[On Fernandes’ goal] We defended a set play well. We know we have pace to counter quickly. It was a great pass by Nemanja [Matic], a great cross by Mason [Greenwood] and it was fantastically finished by Bruno, so I am very happy, happy with all the goals. We were focused on this game, now it’s on to the next one on Saturday against Bournemouth. We’ve got to recover. It was great to get to 3-0 so I could take Bruno and Luke [Shaw] off because they have had a hard weekend with 120 minutes in the FA Cup, so it worked out well

2020 07 03 Retrieve

[Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer thinks top-four race goes down to final day] I think the last round of fixtures is going to be vital. You have got Chelsea vs Wolves and us against Leicester - so it might be a three-point advantage for us or Leicester and it is still an important game. And I can’t see the difference between us and Leicester being a lot more than three points either way and it is the same with Chelsea and Wolves. It’s looking exciting, It’s a short space of time and so many games in that time but I think it will go down to the last game

[Solskjaer hinted the club must get their summer transfer business right in order to bridge that gap] Gary is right about a lot of things and, of course, we cannot think we are there because of the table - we are nowhere near where we should be. Consistency has to be improved. We still have to improve on many aspects of the game and I don’t know how many points we are behind the top two. So Gary is right there is not going to be any complacency and thinking ‘this is it, we’ve cracked it’. We have got so much work to do but it is enjoyable and an enjoyable journey. You can see the improvement. So, yeah we need to make one or two very good decisions - or more good decisions - but it is going to be a very important summer definitely.

[‘Sky is the limit’ for Greenwood] We have done well over the course of the season giving him more exposure and game time. But from the bench or when he starts he is performing. He’s developed fantastically this season so the sky is the limit. It’s up to him. He knows what he can do, should do and must do to keep on playing [and getting chances].

2020 07 03b Retrieve

[Mason Greenwood: Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer lauds striker] We have done well over the course of the season giving him more exposure and game time. It’s not easy as a young boy, he could still play in the FA Youth Cup team! So he’s a young boy and we have to look after him. But from the bench or when he starts he is performing. He’s developed fantastically this season so the sky is the limit. It’s up to him. He knows what he can do, should do and must do to keep on playing [and getting chances]

Mason is way ahead of what I was when I was 18, 19, that’s for sure. He’s got a knack of scoring goals. I don’t really want to say anything different because it’s natural for him and it was what I felt I could do well as well. He’s a brilliant boy to work with. He keeps on learning, keeps on making better and better decisions.

[United were interested in adding another talented English teenager to their ranks in the form of Jude Bellingham] Well, I think there’s been loads of speculation and linked us to every single talented player from the age of 15 to 25, really. But there’s also so many games, so I’ve got to look after them, look after the players. It would be nice to play a team that performed so well against Sheffield United at home last time and played so well against Brighton, but let’s wait and see how everyone is after training today. I’ve not seen them this morning. I’ve got many, many reasons to play the same team, but I’ve also got a few reasons to rotate one or two that have played so well earlier in the season

2020 07 05 Retrieve

[Mason Greenwood ready for England call-up] When you play for Manchester United, I think that’s a test that’s good enough and difficult enough. If you can handle playing for United, then you can handle playing for any team and Mason’s got the qualities that not many others have. So he could play for England full team or the U21s, I don’t really mind. I know he’s doing well for us and it’s great to have him here. Mason’s a naturally good finisher, so he’ll always score goals. He’s a humble boy, he wants to learn, he listens and he works hard. Mason is one of the best if not the best finisher I have worked with and seen. He is so calm

2020 07 05b Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hails ‘specialist goalscorer’ Mason Greenwood after double] I have seen Wayne Rooney at the same age and Mason is a specialist finisher and specialist goalscorer he knows exactly what to do with the ball when he’s on the pitch. If he shoots he will score, he is going to get better and his general play has improved

I don’t want to compare him to Rooney or Ronaldo as that’s not fair and he’ll create his own career. He’s doing it his own way. Both of those have had fantastic careers and I’m sure if Mason keeps on doing the right things and making good decisions he’ll have a fantastic career too. It’s Mason’s first season but we’ve always known there’s a special kid there. It’s exciting. It was great attacking football, with some fantastic goals

It’s too bad our fans couldn’t be here and spur us on because you can see the energy in the team, you can see the atmosphere within the team, but, if that crowd is here, that lifts you even more. That’s a game for the fans, that’s one the Stretford End would have enjoyed. It could have been six or seven or eight then, so, of course, it’s a strange feeling playing in front of no one, but I think the team is doing exceptional. I think they’re doing whatever they can to create that atmosphere themselves

Greewood has 15 goals this season and for an 18-year-old, that is absolutely incredible. And what I like about him most of all is he actually did his first interview with United’s in-house TV station and one of the questions was: ‘What is your favoured foot?’ And he is that good really that when you watch him, you do not know if he is left footed, or right footed

He is just a natural footballer and his finishing is just sensational. And what I really like about him is usually when young players come through like that, strikers tend to rely on their pace. And while he is quick, he just has an incredible technique and this natural ability to find the back of the net

[Lindelof ‘felt his back’] Victor felt his back. So there was no need to take any risks, but Eric’s fine. He’s got his game, 45 minutes, played against Norwich, played against West Brom [in a friendly at Old Trafford before the Premier League’s resumption], so he’ll be fine playing

2020 07 05c Retrieve

[Manchester United put on an electric showing of attacking flair to beat Bournemouth 5-2 and temporarily move into the top four] It’s exciting. It was great attacking football, with some fantastic goals

It’s too bad our fans couldn’t be here and spur us on because you can see the energy in the team, you can see the atmosphere within the team, but, if that crowd is here, that lifts you even more. That’s a game for the fans, that’s one the Stretford End would have enjoyed. It could have been six or seven or eight then, so, of course, it’s a strange feeling playing in front of no one, but I think the team is doing exceptional

I think they’re doing whatever they can to create that atmosphere themselves

2020 07 06 Retrieve

[Nemanja Matic: Manchester United midfielder signs new three-year contract] I am delighted that Nemanja has signed a new contract, I know his experience, professionalism and leadership will be invaluable to this young talented group. We have great strength in midfield and Nemanja’s attributes are a key part of that. Nemanja has been here for three seasons now and really understands the values of playing for Manchester United. He remains hugely ambitious and determined which will be vital as we look to achieve our aims over the coming years.

2020 07 08 Retrieve

[Jack Grealish: Manchester United must be ‘aware’ of Aston Villa captain] Last game they caused us some problems, both Grealish off the left and [Anwar] El Ghazi off the right. He scored a fantastic goal. There’s been lots said about him, and we need to be aware of him. He attracts players to him and creates space for others. There’s not just one player in that Villa team, there’s many of them

[Solskjaer says his team should not get carried away with their current form] As a footballer, you can’t just pick out your confidence from the pitch. You have to have it from what you do every day in training, but the results matter. The last 16 games unbeaten gives us more confidence. But 16 games is what a Man United team strive towards. We can still go many games unbeaten if we focus on the right things

[The trio have scored eight goals in five games since football resumed last month, which has quietened suggestions that United need to sign a new striker this summer] This isn’t a popularity contest, that’s for sure. I’m going to make the decisions that I think are for the benefit of the club. The decisions we made last summer and throughout January - bringing players in and allowing players to move on - they were always for the good of the club, both in giving youngsters a chance but also in giving trust to the others. I would still make the decisions if I could go back six months or 12 months

2020 07 09 Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: Exciting times ahead for Man Utd] You can’t talk about success when, first of all, it’s only 16 games unbeaten. We had the tough spell in January, we’re fifth in the league so you can’t talk success. Yes we’re in the semi-finals of the FA Cup and hopefully we’ll proceed through the quarter-finals in the Europa League, so it’s exciting times, but it’s nowhere near being success yet

You’re at the biggest club in the world, you do have a responsibility, you do have a privilege of keeping fit and if you don’t have the discipline over two or three months to look after yourself, that’s when I open the door and say ‘find yourself somewhere else’

It’s nice to see them going into games trusting themselves, trusting their team-mates, trusting what we should be doing in the game and the messages we’ve been giving to them. The focus has been fantastic, it’s been great. The demands are here now, the players demand off each other in training, it’s not like we go into training just to have a jolly about. We do have some tackles flying in and a competition for places

[Last week Nemanja Matic spoke to me about regaining Solskjaer’s trust and enjoying being one of his soldiers again] Nemanja is a very, very professional player with some great experience which he’ll pass on to the youngsters. He’s not played as much as he’d like to this season but there’s not been any moment you’d think he wouldn’t do his best. He came to training, worked really hard and he’s shown everyone that when you’re in this squad you’ll have a part to play. Nemanja’s such a top professional and I think he’s improving as a player. I remember myself when I was 30 or 31 coming back working with Rene (Meulensteen) and adding things to my game. Nemanja’s added some things to his game as well

[So what of Pogba] I think every player needs to focus on what’s happening on the pitch and that’s one of the big pluses. If you look at the players, touch wood, there hasn’t been so many injuries, players are fit and they worked hard. But I also think it’s because you haven’t got any of the noise around, you can’t go out. I’m not just talking Paul now, I’m talking every single one of us, you don’t go out to restaurants, you don’t stay out at night, you stay at home and you recover and I think that’s a big thing for these players. There’s one career you’ve got, make the most of it. It’s been interesting to see how there’s been fewer niggles and how fit they’ve been. I don’t think it’s going to be lots of surgery, no. I think it’s fine adjusting of course but we’re always looking to improve and we know we’re behind where we want to be.

2020 07 09b Retrieve

[Paul Pogba: Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hopeful midfielder will sign new contract] I can’t comment on discussions between players and the club but of course we want to keep the best players. We want to build a squad for the future and Scott and Nemanja, they’re in similar positions but in different stages of their careers - one at the start and one really experienced one. We also need players in that mid-range group so hopefully we can do something. I know that since Paul came back from injury he’s looking better and better. He’s just enjoying his football and let’s see where it takes us.

[Solskjaer says any deals in the current transfer market must be practical] There’s got to be realism. I think the whole world has changed both financially and the perception that we’ve got on values. Every time I put the case in front of Ed (Woodward) I think it’s a sensible one and it’s a realistic one. I think I’ve proven to the club that I’ve always got the club at the front of my mind. I don’t think short term or personally that this would fit me for a short space of time. I’ll always think long term and try to make good deals. I’m always quite careful with money - my personal money as well.

We started this season really well after the players had a good break and worked well in pre-season. Then we did well after the mid-season break in February and now we’ve done well after this lockdown so we do have a group that I can trust. They look after themselves, they stay together on Zoom calls or WhatsApp groups and they demand off each other because if one or two let themselves down then they let the team down. I feel very happy with the culture in that group. They’re good lads.

[Solskjaer is a fan of Grealish and witnessed the Villa captain score an outstanding goal in the 2-2 draw at Old Trafford in December] Last game they caused us some problems, both Grealish off the left and [Anwar] El Ghazi off the right. He scored a fantastic goal. There’s been lots said about him, and we need to be aware of him. He attracts players to him and creates space for others. There’s not just one player in that Villa team, there’s many of them

2020 07 10 Retrieve

[Manchester United produced another unerring attacking display to sweep struggling Aston Villa aside 3-0, but only after a contentious penalty unlocked the door at Villa Park] I thought it was a penalty. The boy sticks out his leg, Fernandes does a fantastic Zidane or Maradona pirouette and he lands on him. I think it’s a penalty. But to go in 2-0 up at half-time was fortunate. From there we were in control and there was some excellent stuff in the second half. Even at 1-0 I think our defenders would have kept a clean sheet. They defenders took the criticism from last game and performed well

Tyrone Mings gives the ball away for the second goal. He’s an experienced international defender. Mings has got to close down Greenwood, he doesn’t and that is why Villa will probably get relegated. When your central defenders are not brave enough to close the ball down and don’t do the basics, that is when teams get relegated. I cannot understand it, I’m scratching my head, and that is why Reina was shouting like a mad man. When you defend like that, you deserve everything you get

2020 07 10 Retrieve

[Bruno Fernandes and Mason Greenwood changing everything] It is not good enough. The boys, they looked mentally tired towards the end. We didn’t find that creativity.

2020 07 10b Retrieve

[Bruno Fernandes won a penalty despite looking like he committed the foul] I think it’s a penalty. If you try to tackle me, I try to jump over you and I land on you, I think that’s a foul. The boy [Konsa] sticks out his leg and Fernandes does a fantastic Zidane or Maradona pirouette and he lands on him

2020 07 11 Retrieve

[Mason Greenwood: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Man Utd are not worried about striker burning out] At that age he has so much energy, he has no fear, you just want to play football. If we had a day off he’d probably go and play football with his mates. I’m not worried about Mason this season, of course we have to look after him over his career. He is a fantastic boy to work with and he just loves playing. He is getting rewards for his hard work

We know what he is capable of and always trusted him to be a part of this squad and chip in with goals. We see it everyday. He is just a natural footballer. The club know what they are doing with the education of players.

There’s quite a lot of planning going on. When do we start the league? That obviously is determined by how far we go in Europe, so you can’t really decide on the programme, the training programme. So, there’s so many small decisions and of course transfers - that’s sometimes out of our hands as well because if the team is going well, what do we need? What don’t we need? Do you get injuries? That’s just the way of working in this job, that you’ve always got to plan for different scenarios. But, the uncertainty of dates, how much holiday can you give them, how will next season look like, it’s still a little bit up in the air

[Asked if Champions League qualification will have a dramatic effect in the short term] I don’t think it’s like dramatic decisions, the word you said there. I don’t think the club would either panic or suddenly go crazy with plans that we’ve already talked about for the years to come. You have to have a long-term plan but of course short-term maybe some decisions will be easier to make if or if not you get the Champions League.

2020 07 14 Retrieve

[Manchester United missed the chance to move into the top four after conceding a 96th-minute equaliser in a 2-2 draw against Southampton] It’s the worst time to concede a goal but that happens in football - you’ve just got to take it because we’ve won so many games that way ourselves. It’s all part of the learning for this team to be sat there, really disappointed, after you think the three points are in the bag. But probably we didn’t deserve three points today. They played well. They’re physical, very fit. We never got the rhythm in our passing today, especially when we got to 2-1 but we created chances, played some fantastic football at times. We’ve had enough recovery; it was just one of those days where we didn’t take our chances

2020 07 14b Retrieve

[Man Utd 2-2 Southampton - Match report and highlights] It’s the worst time to concede a goal but that happens in football. You’ve just got to take it because we’ve won so many games that way ourselves. It’s all part of the learning for this team to be sat there, really disappointed, after you think the three points are in the bag. But probably we didn’t deserve three points today. They played well. They’re physical, very fit. We never got the rhythm in our passing, especially when we got to 2-1 but we created chances and played some fantastic football at times.

[Solskjaer does not believe the late concession was due to fatigue] No, I think we’ve had enough recovery. It was just one of those days where we didn’t take our chances and they took theirs at the end. David [De Gea] made one very good save, but apart from that we had all the chances. Southampton are a good side, though, and you’re not going to just be given three points

Luke twisted his ankle. Hopefully, we can have some good news on him after we’ve done a scan. I can’t say [really], I’ve not seen Brandon because he was with the medical staff and I think he was getting some stitches with a gash over his eye. So let’s see how he is

[Romeu escapes red card for Greenwood challenge] I know my ankle wouldn’t take that challenge as a nice one. It was a nasty one, but we’ve said enough about VAR.

2020 07 15 Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was reluctant to be drawn into the situation surrounding the lifting of Manchester City’s European ban] Other people can debate that and they’ll want to, it’s not my job. My job is to make sure we focus on the next game and do the right things. Financial Fair Play was brought in to keep football clubs financially sustainable and I think that’s important. They also give us rules to adhere to, that’s what we’re focusing on. Let other people discuss what’s right and wrong and what’s happened.

[Solskjaer insists the league is his only focus for the time being] The team selection for Thursday is based on Thursday, not on Sunday. Sunday is irrelevant, it doesn’t come into my head at all. There were a couple of doubts before the Southampton game but they all reported fit on the day and hopefully we can give them time now. There might be one or two fresh legs coming in

[Asked what message he sent to the squad following the draw with Southampton] Keep on doing what we have been doing. Trust yourselves. You’re at a club where it always boils down to the last couple of games. We have been fantastic since it restarted and had a great run. That little bit of a setback is a test for our mentality

2020 07 16 Retrieve

[Paul Pogba: Man Utd midfielder knows he will not be dropped when in form] I’ve been speaking more or less every day with Paul and of course he knows that he wouldn’t be dropped. When Paul plays like this he wouldn’t be dropped from any team in the world. But he has been out for a long time and there was question mark before the Southampton game. He felt ready for it and that was great. Now, let’s see how he is today and tomorrow. He has been fantastic since the restart and he has brought a lot to the team.

[Frank Lampard’s side having 48 more hours to prepare after beating Norwich 1-0 on Tuesday] There is a concern that they’ve had 48 hours more rest and recovery than us. It’s not fair. We spoke about fair scheduling going into this restart. I have to think about Thursday. We have to win that one and then let’s pick up the pieces after that

[United squad fitter than previous seasons] We’ve not really played every three days, but we will now. The next two weeks will be hectic, but we’re fit, very fit. Our lads have not felt as fit as this for years, I’m sure. There’s some young lads that will be fitter than the average Joe and they are quicker to recover. Towards the end of last season, we felt our team was not fit enough and got a few injuries. This season we have not had that kind of problem. It’s not going to be a big concern for us but 48 hours is a big difference at this time. We’ve not been handed four aces in our hand but we’re going to have to put on a poker face and play our cards well

2020 07 17 Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Wilfried Zaha penalty decision vs Manchester United was right] It looks like Victor gets the ball and they tangle their feet, so I think that’s OK what they do there.

[Solskjaer couldn’t hide his delight regarding their blossoming strike partnership] Marcus is just enjoying himself. Enjoying his football. Him and Anthony together link really well off each other and when I can see those boys, with that body language of smiling and positive, I’m delighted. We didn’t really get going, especially before half-time. But in moments we show what we can do and it’s great to watch that tempo when the ball goes forward, the runs go forward, movement of the ball, so two fantastic goals

2020 07 18 Retrieve

[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Manchester United’s rivals trying to create ‘narrative’ over VAR] It looks like there’s a narrative. It looks like people want to influence whoever is making the decisions. I hear people talking about luck, that we’ve been lucky more than unlucky. If you look at the factual decisions - and I don’t want to sound like a certain manager talking about facts - but if you’re offside, you’re offside - that is clear. Talking about luck … the penalty that we got against Tottenham in the last minute that was taken away from us, the might have been two points for us. Talking about the red card that [Oriol] Romeu should have had against us when he got Mason Greenwood almost crippled, that should have been a red card. Maybe that would have helped us. Talking about Mark Noble when he should have been sent off against us when we lost to West Ham. Talking about the actual decision that is made, that is against Manchester United but is overturned and corrected. So it is actually me that should be complaining that we get decisions against us on the pitch by the onfield referee. There is a narrative there but we just have to focus on our games and let other people talk

[Solskjaer insists he has full faith in the match officials for the FA Cup semi-final] I’m pretty relaxed about this. Referees are going to be making objective decisions. They’re not going to be influenced by any emotion anyway, I don’t think they’ll read it

[Shaw doubtful but Williams set to be fit] I don’t think Luke is going to make it. Brandon will hopefully train today and be available. The team is not selected yet. Jesse and Sergio both have a good chance of being involved. Jesse is a part of the club. He has worked really hard and he deserves his chance to come back in. We know his qualities. He has different qualities to other players and he knows we value him