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Manchester United caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his coaches

Brown: Solskjaer can bring smiles back to United

Wes Brown has backed his former Manchester United colleague Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to bring the smiles back to Old Trafford.

The Norwegian has taken over as caretaker manager and leads the team for the first time against Cardiff City in today's 17:30 GMT kick-off.

Former defender Brown is hopeful the new man is able to get off to a positive start ahead of a hectic spell of festive fixtures.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Wes Brown.
Wes Brown puts an arm around United team-mate Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

”Ole is a top guy,” Brown told us. “A nice guy and he was great to play with. Obviously, he’s now managed a couple of different teams and he’s coming back in, which is brilliant. The board made the decision and opted to bring Ole in.

“I am sure he will be getting a smile back on the lads’ faces. He’ll be trying to get them to enjoy their football and, at the moment, it’s what we need.

”Ole coming in until the end of the season gives the whole club a boost and hopefully we can get some good results with him in charge.”

Solskjaer showed signs of meticulous preparation and attention to detail during his time as a player, alongside Brown.

The deadly striker would often study matches when named as a substitute and be planning all the time to exploit any weaknesses when he entered the pitch.

”Ole, as a player, was one of the best professionals I’ve been with,“ Brown told us earlier this week. ”He was guy who came off the bench and scored goals and never lost focus. He was always committed and I do hope he will definitely bring those two things to the side and the players.

“I think he always made it known to the lads what he was trying to be and that is what he wanted to do – become a manager.

“I always thought he might be a manager because of the way he watched games, even when he used to come on as a sub he used to watch defenders to see who was tired, who he could attack and which ones he might go at. Back then, some of those things were not really known at that time and doing it at such an early age, you could see he loved the game. So it didn’t surprise me one bit that he became a manager.”

Wes Brown turns on the Christmas lights.
Wes Brown turns on this year's Christmas tree lights at Old Trafford with Casey Stoney.

The return of Mike Phelan to assist Ole is another positive, according to Brown, who appreciates everything Sir Alex Ferguson’s former number two brings to the equation.

“It’s absolutely brilliant Mike Phelan is coming back,” said Brown. “He knows the club inside and out and was great for us in the past. It’s so nice to see him back and most of the lads will know Mike. Hopefully, he can slot back into the position he was in. He gives great confidence to the team and knows how the club works.”

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