Interim Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has enjoyed a fine start to life in the job, and he’ll be looking to extend that against Bournemouth this weekend.
The Norwegian tactician has guided the Red Devils to consecutive wins since replacing Jose Mourinho earlier this month, with his side scoring eight goals in those two outings.
The true test though will arguably be his ability to maintain that level of performance and results, and they’ll look to do so against Bournemouth at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Solskjaer is expected to get a double fitness boost with both Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez closing in on returns from respective injury problems, and he has issued a challenge to them by insisting that he can only do so much and it’s up to them to produce when given an opportunity.
“I’m here to help them, guide them on the path, and then it’s up to them to do it on the pitch,” he is quoted as saying by Sky Sports. “It’s up to them when they get a chance. You’ve got to do it yourself.
“I give them some guidelines. There’s been loads of talk about freedom of expression, but that’s how I’ve always been as a manager.
“You can’t tell all the players what to do. They are here for a reason – they are good players. It’s up to them to use their imagination, creativity and enjoy playing for this club, because that is the best time of your life. It’s not a bad time being a manager either, for a little while.”
That’s arguably a sensible management style, albeit it does leave him vulnerable in that if his players don’t perform at the level that they’re capable of, it will complicate matters and he’ll have to formulate a Plan B to ensure United remain on track to get back in the hunt for a top-four finish.
Meanwhile, he also spoke glowingly of Paul Pogba who has impressed in both of his games in charge thus far, scoring two goals and providing two assists in the back-to-back wins.
“I think Paul is a top, top player,” Solskjaer said, as per ESPN. “He’s one of the best, the top, top players in the world. He’s been top class and we’re looking to build a team around him of course but there are so many quality players.”
As noted by The Express, the Frenchman is now said to be considered unsellable, and as the mood and atmosphere continues to improve at Old Trafford, it remains to be seen if he continues to relish the fresh start that he’s been handed under Solskjaer, and the same could be said for the rest of the squad too.