Solskjaer's awards-night interview
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was hopeful for the future when when he spoke to MUTV at Manchester United's Player of the Year awards night.
Solskjaer, reflecting on his first half-season as United manager, discussed the development of the youngsters in the squad, how he has found his first six months in charge at Old Trafford and looked ahead to next season's challenges.
Does it feel a bit weird that you were here as a player and now you’re the main man?
“Yeah, it does feel weird to have this job, because it’s such a great honour to be here. You’ve been a player, you’ve been a reserve-team coach, you've been a supporter now for so many years and then suddenly when Ed [Woodward] gave me a call I thought, 'This is going to be for a few months, I’m going to enjoy it' but now I’m here and it’s fantastic.”
Watch Ole's awards-night interview in fullVideo
From being the reserves' manager, you know it's an important night tonight, particularly for the young players coming through. For some of them to get the awards on offer tonight, it’s so exciting...
“Of course it is. You always talk about teams, but tonight it’s about celebrating the individuals and there’s always been outstanding talent coming through. I’m sure, whoever wins the youth trophies, we’ll see them in the first team. Hopefully some of them will be on show on Sunday.”
At Manchester United we pride ourselves on the youth policy here. You go back tens of years and we’ve always had a youth player in the starting XI or on the bench. Is that something you want to keep progressing with next season?
“I love young players who want to improve and have no fear whatsoever and I’ve looked at the Reserves and Under-18s this year and of course there are talents there that will stay at this club for so many years. You’ve got Rashy [Marcus Rashford], Jesse [Lingard] now, Scott [McTominay], you don’t think about Paul [Pogba] as an academy product, but he was here when he was 16, so I’m sure we’ll carry on that tradition and it’s nice to give them the opportunity to show what they can do, because if you don’t give them the chance how can they prove it? So, there’ll be chances.”
Welcome to United's 2019 awards nightVideo
You’ve had six months in the job. Has that gone fast for you?
“Very quick. It’s been a roller coaster. Of course we had a fantastic start. Everyone just enjoyed themselves, because we started winning games. That’s human beings - when you win games, you’re confident, you smile, you enjoy yourself. Suddenly we got a few injuries and it’s been ups and downs for the last two months, but that’s football. That’s human beings. That’s a team. It’s not like [playing] Football Manager. You’ve got to deal with different stuff outside of football as well. So, there’s been highs and lows, but I’ve enjoyed it. It’s a great challenge. I haven’t gone to bed one night worrying about what’s going to happen, because I love coming in. The boys are fantastic and have a good attitude.”
Who Rashford and Lindelof voted forVideo
Finally, it must be exciting knowing you’re the man responsible for building United for the future. That must be great for you?
“It’s a great challenge, but it’s a great responsibility as well, because this club is huge and the media and everyone’s criticising us as soon as they’ve got a chance. We’ve just got to stick together, know that we’ve been through tough and difficult periods before. We will come through it again as a team. We’ve got to do it together. We’ve got to recruit smart, we’ve got to keep blooding the youngsters and we’ll be fine.”
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