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.