we’ve sparked a little hope there and it’s important that we build on that.
Molde is its own club with its own history, but will you be trying to apply the United ethos over there?
Definitely. For me that's how a club should be built and run on an everyday basis. It’s how I’ll run my club. This is the template of the perfect club. That’s why I’ve brought Mark Dempsey and Richard Hartis with me: the three of us are very strongly linked with United. United have signed three players from Molde – Mame (Diouf), me and Magnus (Eikrem) – and it’s a big compliment for our club, but I still think I can take it forward. Hopefully we’ll play in the Champions League together. You never know!
You’d be up against Sir Alex – how big an influence has he been on you?
The Gaffer has been absolutely unbelievable. For 14 and a half years I’ve been here and he’s made me what I am. You learn from him. I came as a young Norwegian and you just look at him and learn to be professional and how to conduct yourself.
He’s approaching a quarter of a century at United – how does he keep going?
He’s enjoying it, that’s the thing. He enjoys coming in and working here. He’s got good staff around him, he’s keeping young staff around him and he’s as enthusiastic as ever, he’s got more energy than ever and, of course, he has to win. He needs to win games. He has to have games like Monday and come back with the buzz of beating Arsenal. It’s just in him. You can see another team developing here and I’m sure he sees a great team developing.
Is your immediate plan to emulate Sir Alex with Molde and transform the club into a dominant force in Norway?
When you go into a job you hope you’ll leave one day - two years, five years, a decade down the line - and leave a legacy; knowing that you’ve started something and you’ve made new history. It’s Molde’s 100 year anniversary next year. They’ve won the cup twice and never won the league. Of course my aim is to win the league in years to come, but that’s a process, so for me now it’s starting at the bottom: the structure of the club, get kids coming through because it’s important that local kids know they’ll get a chance, I’m taking loads with me. If you want to build a club, you’ve got to look at who has been successful, and the manager has been the most successful one. It’s impossible to say that 10 or 15 years down the line where I’ll manage. If you do well, something will happen to you. I’ve said exactly the same as anyone else who has