Cole: Ole won't disappoint as United boss
Former Manchester United striker Andy Cole has hailed the "unbelievable" influence Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has had and feels no one could have wished for as good a start to his time in charge.
The Norwegian was announced as our new permanent manager on Thursday - 99 days after being appointed as caretaker manager back in late December. His former team-mate Cole is in awe of the impact Ole has had since his arrival.
“It’s unbelievable," Cole told MUTV in an interview this week. "If you’d asked anyone to come and do that job, there’s no way a seasoned manager could have wished to have had such a great start."
“He’s done it in such a way whereby his mannerisms, getting the boys on side, getting the boys to play football and getting the whole place a lot happier. I think that’s been the testament to Ole.”
Cole believes having Mike Phelan on board has been crucial, as the 56-year-old was an integral part of the club in Sir Alex Ferguson's reign.
He said: “I think bringing Mickey in that’s special, because just me I don’t think Mickey should have gone when he went, because he was such an integral part of the football club. But bringing Mickey back and just getting the players on side, which for Ole wasn’t going to be difficult because he’s that kind of character.”
He also believes that making people at the club happy has been a key part of Solskjaer’s job.
“Ole won’t disappoint too many people," said Coley. "My time playing with Ole, I always got on very well with him and that’s what he’s doing. Just to get everyone happy around the place, that’s been big as well, because you can tell now just the way the players are playing, they’re playing for him."
Coley also admitted he's been surprised at how well Ole has done since coming in.
He said: “Did I? No. I’ve got to be honest, I could never see Ole being a manager, but there’s plenty of people like that. He came to Cardiff and things didn’t work out the way he would have liked. He’s gone back to Molde, did well there and now he’s come to Manchester United and, wow, he’s really taken off. Fair play to him.”
Ole's at the Wheel!Gallery
Revisit the images from Solskjaer's unveiling as permanent United manager on 28 March 2019.
“For someone to take this job at Manchester United and galvanise the place like he has done. It’s not just about galvanising the players, but getting results. We can’t stand here and say those results were lucky results either. There have been some really quality results like PSG. It’s a testament to him and his staff.”
Cole also discussed the top four run-in ahead of this weekend’s clash against Watford at Old Trafford.
He said: “If we’d beaten Arsenal that would have given us a nice little buffer. Our confidence has been knocked a bit losing the last couple of games, but come the weekend if we can get a positive result [against Watford] and Arsenal don’t do too well, Tottenham slip up, that gives us an opportunity.”
Elsewhere, Arsenal will host Newcastle and Tottenham will host Crystal Palace as the race to finish in the Premier League's top four hots up.