Chris Eagles pictured playing for Manchester United during his time at the club.

Eagles pleased for Solskjaer's success as boss

Tuesday 29 January 2019 05:00

Academy graduate and former Burnley midfielder Chris Eagles believes the Manchester United players will listen to every word from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, due to his iconic status at the club.

The former midfielder joined United as a schoolboy in 2000 and went on to make his first-team debut against Leeds United in October 2003. Eagles memorably scored a key goal against Everton in the 2006/07 title race when coming off the bench to seal a brilliant comeback on his Premier League bow.

In total, Chris registered 17 appearances for the club across five seasons and played alongside Solskjaer on several occasions. He was also managed by Ole at Reserve-team level and is delighted to see his former team-mate back as caretaker boss.

"I played alongside Ole, and for him when he managed at reserve level,” says Eagles in an interview that appears in tonight's edition of United Review, our official matchday programme.

“He’s a great guy, and the players seem buzzing to be playing under him. He can be tough, and when you’re a player who made a real difference for the club, like he did, players will listen to every word. Ole’s not a United legend for no reason.”

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Eagles naturally has fond memories of his time at United, too. 

“Every time I put on the shirt was memorable,” Eagles explains. “My debut against Leeds United in the Carling Cup when [Eric] Djemba-Djemba got the winner; scoring on my league debut at Everton. I feel so lucky to have been at United at a time when the club was winning so many trophies.”

After leaving United, Eagles moved to Burnley in 2008 and represented the Clarets for three seasons. 

The winger is delighted to see both United and Burnley performing so well in recent weeks after tough starts to the campaign.

“I always felt Burnley would turn a corner, it was just a matter of when, and I really hope they stay up,” he explains.
Chris Eagles in action for Burnley against the Reds at Old Trafford.
“With the budget Burnley have, it’s always going to be difficult for them facing most Premier League teams, but Sean [Dyche] has done brilliantly with the players he’s brought in, and he’s got them back to basics in recent games – a solid formation, great team spirit, taking the chances when they come.”

Eagles enjoyed a mixed time at Turf Moor and was part of the side who gained promotion from the Championship in 2009, but suffered the heartbreak of relegation the following year.

“Being at Burnley was a huge part of my life and I now follow every result they have," he says. "It was a winning team, and luckily we went up in my first season. They were amazing times, especially lifting that [play-off final] trophy, and the fans were brilliant to me.”
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The former Red and Claret is looking forward to Tuesday’s game between his old teams, and was even pressed into a score prediction.

“It’s difficult for me to answer, but I’m going to have to say 3-1 to United, just because of the depth they have in the squad. But Burnley know who they are, and if they can keep picking up points from teams in the bottom half, they should be fine this season.”

Eagles last played for Ross County in the 2017/18 season and has been a free agent since April.

Read the full interview with Chris Eagles in United Review. 

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