Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says complacency won’t set in at Old Trafford now he is permanent boss

Solskjaer looks at home at Old Trafford. (AFP)
Updated 29 March 2019
0

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says complacency won’t set in at Old Trafford now he is permanent boss

MANCHESTER: Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has promised there will be no complacency from him or the players now he has been confirmed as the Premier League club’s permanent manager.
Solskjaer was handed the job on Thursday after a successful three months as caretaker boss, but he said there would no easing off now he has a three-year contract — setting the Premier League title as his goal.
“Players who get complacent, they never last at this club anyway,” Solskjaer said.
“I am the same, I can’t be complacent and now rest on (the fact that) I have the job, It’s not me. We are looking forward, we have got to work harder,” he added.
In keeping with that approach, Solskjaer side-stepped a question about his pride at his appointment.
“Now the hard work starts, the enjoyable work but hard work, it is not a moment to be proud in that respect,” he said.
“I have got some targets, I want a Manchester United team that is one of the hardest-working teams in the league, one of the fittest teams in the league and that then will bring results. I think the players know my expectations on the future,” he added.
The 46-year-old Norwegian has guided United to 14 wins in 19 matches in all competitions as caretaker boss since replacing the sacked Jose Mourinho in December.
His short-term target is to secure a top-four finish and qualification for the Champions League but Solskjaer said that winning the Premier League was his goal.
“To lift the Premier League trophy again is what we expect, what we’re used to, what we have done so many times,” he said.
“We can’t wait too many years but it’s not going to happen overnight.”
In the longer term he said he wanted to continue the positive mood around the club.
“The day I walk out of the doors, I hope it is with a smile on my face and have given the supporters, the staff, the players, the club, a good time and that is all I can do, all I can promise, all I’ve promised to the owners, to (CEO) Ed (Woodward), everyone,” he said.
“I will always be myself, I am not going to change, I will be an optimist and positive guy and we will do this together.”
The Norwegian’s back-room staff is expected to stay as it is with his assistant Mike Phelan, brought back to the club with Solskjaer in December, now in contract talks.
“Mick is a key part of the set-up and they are talking to each other,” said Solskjaer.
“The set-up we have now I really hope is going to continue.”
United host Watford at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Saturday.


Algeria sink Senegal in fiery final to claim second Africa Cup of Nations

Updated 20 July 2019
0

Algeria sink Senegal in fiery final to claim second Africa Cup of Nations

  • Bounedjah gave Algeria a dream start in the second minute
  • For Senegal, who lost to Algeria by the same scoreline in the group stage, the long wait for a first continental crown goes on

CAIRO: Baghdad Bounedjah’s early goal propelled Algeria to a first Africa Cup of Nations title in 29 years after a fiery 1-0 victory over Sadio Mane’s Senegal in Friday’s final in Cairo.
Bounedjah gave Algeria a dream start in the second minute when his deflected shot looped over Senegal goalkeeper Alfred Gomis, and it proved enough for the 1990 champions to lift the trophy on foreign soil for the first time.
For Senegal, who lost to Algeria by the same scoreline in the group stage, the long wait for a first continental crown goes on as coach Aliou Cisse, the captain of the 2002 runners-up, again fell short in the final.
It was the first title-decider to feature two African coaches since 1998, with Algeria boss Djamel Belmadi completing a whirlwind 12 months at the helm after inheriting a side that failed to make it out of the group stage two years ago.
With defensive rock Kalidou Koulibaly suspended for Senegal, Salif Sane deputised at the back and Ismaila Sarr was recalled in attack, while Belmadi kept faith in the same side that overcame Nigeria with an injury-time free-kick from Riyad Mahrez.
Senegal had understandably feared the absence of Napoli star Koulibaly, banned after two bookings in the knockout rounds, although the towering Sane was desperately unlucky as Algeria grabbed the lead with scarcely a minute played.
As Bounedjah took aim from 20 yards his effort smacked off Sane and arced high into the air before dropping underneath the crossbar and beyond a static Gomis, sparking delirious celebrations from both players and fans, some of whom arrived for the final on military planes provided by the Algerian government.
It was the first time Gomis had conceded in almost 400 minutes in Egypt having replaced the injured Edouard Mendy ahead of Senegal’s final group game.
Henri Saivet, who missed a penalty in the 1-0 victory over Tunisia, tried to catch Rais Mbohli out with a free-kick while Mbaye Niang fizzed a powerful drive just over as Senegal gradually showed signs of life before the half ended with both sets of players embroiled in a scuffle as they headed for the tunnel.
Senegal thought they had won a penalty on the hour when Cameroonian referee Alioum Alioum pointed to the spot for a suspected handball by Adlene Guedioura, but the official reversed his decision after a VAR review.
Niang rounded an advancing Mbohli after a searching ball through from Cheikhou Kouyate but the forward sliced wide of the target from a tough angle, with the Algeria ‘keeper then acrobatically tipping over a rasping drive from Youssouf Sabaly.
The Desert Foxes started to look jaded as Senegal brought on fresh legs in Krepin Diatta and Mbaye Diagne, but Youcef Belaili nearly made it 2-0 when his cross brushed the head of a defender and skimmed the roof of the net.
Sarr blazed over on the volley as Algeria clung on to their advantage in the closing minutes, the final whistle greeted by an outpouring of raw emotion as the North Africans emerged worthy winners of the expanded 24-team event.