Ole Gunnar Solskjaer eyes Manchester United role long term

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The "Baby-Faced Assassin" is in the United hot seat until the end of the season, but he wants to stay on longer. (AFP)
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Updated 21 December 2018
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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer eyes Manchester United role long term

  • Norwegian has designs on the Reds' coaching job long term.
  • Solskjaer gets his interim coaching stint at Old Trafford under way against former club Cardiff on Saturday.

LONDON: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has thrown down the gauntlet to Manchester United saying he wants to be the boss of the Reds full-time.
The Norwegian was speaking on his first day as interim coach following the sacking of Jose Mourinho on Tuesday. The 45-year-old — who was a legend at the Reds during his 11 years at Old Trafford, scoring 91 goals in 235 appearances — is in the hot seat until the end of the season during which time United hope to have made a permanent appointment.
But he told his first press conference as the caretaker manager that he has no plans to leave in the summer and wants to put up a compelling argument for becoming Mourinho’s long-term successor.

Solskjaer is a cult figure at Old Trafford thanks to his 91 goals in 11 seasons at the club. 


“When you get a job like this and they ask you to sign for six months, you say ‘yeah’,” Solskjaer said.
“I’m happy to help out and my job now for the next six months is to do as well as I can and move the club forward as well as I can.
“I understand there are so many managers who would love to be manager of Manchester United and I am one of them. But it is not something we’ve talked about, they’ll do a process now for the next six months.”
Solskjaer, renowned for his threat off the bench and still revered by United supporters for scoring the winning goal in the 1999 Champions League final, faces a daunting challenge as he replaces Mourinho.
United have made their worst start in the Premier League era and languish 19 points behind leaders Liverpool, and 11 off the Champions League places.
“My job is to help the players, make them grasp the opportunity now because they all want to be part of Man United,” said Solskjaer.
“I’m going to be here to help them, help the team, that is down to man management. I had the best manager as a player and coach to learn how he dealt with players and it’s about communication. I’ll sit down and speak to the ones not playing, tell them what I expect of them.
“When you’re at Man United there are a set of demands and one is to be a team player and I don’t think anyone has been on the bench more than me. That’s always my comeback to players, you might come on and make an impact.”
Solskjaer spoke of the debt he owed to Alex Ferguson, who built a team that dominated English football, winning 13 Premier League titles and two Champions Leagues.
Solskjaer will begin his United reign at Cardiff City on Saturday, the only other Premier League club he has managed — he had a difficult eight-month spell in South Wales and was unable to save the club from relegation.


Leonard scores 35, Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 for 3-2 lead

Updated 24 May 2019
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Leonard scores 35, Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 for 3-2 lead

  • Leonard hit the 30-point mark for the fourth time in the series

MILWAUKEE: Kawhi Leonard scored 35 points and the Toronto Raptors beat the Milwaukee Bucks 105-99 on Thursday night to take a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.
Leonard showed no obvious signs of the leg soreness that bothered him in Toronto’s victories in the previous two games, hitting the 30-point mark for the fourth time in the series. He made five 3-pointers and had seven rebounds and nine assists.
Fred VanVleet scored 21 points, hitting seven 3s. Kyle Lowry added 17 as the Raptors put themselves in position to advance to the NBA Finals for the first time. A victory at home Saturday would set up a matchup with two-time defending champion Golden State.
“This was a super-hard win tonight,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said.
The Raptors battled out of an early 14-point hole, then got 15 points from Leonard in the fourth quarter to send the top-seeded Bucks to their first three-game losing streak of the season.
“We weathered the storm early,” Leonard said.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 24 points for Milwaukee hours after being announced as a unanimous first-team, All-NBA selection. Eric Bledsoe scored 20 and Malcolm Brogdon added 18 points and 11 rebounds in his return to the starting lineup.
“It’s first to four. We’ve got to go to Toronto, get a game. I think the group will be ready,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said.
The Raptors were clinging to a two-point lead in the closing minute after Khris Middleton drove around Leonard on the baseline for a layup.
Toronto was initially called for a shot-clock violation when Leonard missed a fadeaway jumper with 35 seconds left. That got overturned by a replay review, and Brook Lopez was called for a foul, instead, for bumping Marc Gasol after he retrieved the loose ball.
Gasol hit both free throws to make it 100-97. Another replay review went in Toronto’s favor when officials determined a ball went out of bounds off Brogdon with 26.8 seconds left. Brogdon pulled his hand away, thinking his dribble had gone off Pascal Siakam’s foot.
Siakam then drove for a dunk, making it 102-97, and the Raptors hung on from there.
Milwaukee was leading 81-79 with about 8 1/2 minutes left when Leonard nailed back-to-back 3-pointers. He hit two free throws before Siakam threw down a put-back dunk to make it 89-81.
The Bucks tied it at 93-all with 2:44 left on a 3-pointer by Lopez. VanVleet answered with one of his own before Antetokounmpo threw down an alley-oop dunk to cut it to 96-95 with just over two minutes remaining.
The Bucks set a fast pace early on and led by 10 after the first quarter, delighting the towel-waving fans chanting “Fear The Deer! Fear the Deer!” They withstood a 16-2 run by Toronto to start the second, with Antetokounmpo nailing a 3 to stop it.
The Bucks also went on a 14-2 run early in the third, with the Greek Freak throwing down a hard dunk off a feed by Middleton for a 63-51 lead. But the Raptors got right back into it.

Tip-ins

Raptors: Lowry now has 1,126 points in 66 playoff games for Toronto, surpassing DeMar DeRozan (1,117) as the franchise’s postseason scoring leader.
Bucks: Brogdon started all 64 games he played in during the regular season, before missing basically all of the first two rounds because of a heel injury. With Brogdon back in the lineup, Nikola Mirotic came off the bench.

Up next

Game 6 is at Toronto on Saturday.