Play­ers not Po­chet­tino should be Man Utd’s fo­cus — Sol­sk­jaer

The Borneo Post (Sabah) - - SPORT -

MANCH­ESTER: Manch­ester United’s care­taker man­ager Ole Gun­nar Sol­sk­jaer in­sists his side’s trip to Tot­ten­ham should be about the play­ers and not his head-to-head bat­tle with Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino.

Sun­day’s Premier League match at Wem­b­ley will see Sol­sk­jaer face off against the man widely con­sid­ered his main ri­val to be­come United’s full-time man­ager from next sea­son.

The Nor­we­gian is cur­rently in charge at Old Traf­ford un­til the end of the sea­son, hav­ing re­placed the sacked Jose Mour­inho in De­cem­ber, a move de­signed to give the club’s board time to con­sider their op­tions re­gard­ing a per­ma­nent re­place­ment.

Sol­sk­jaer, who scored 126 goals in 366 ap­pear­ances for United be­tween 1996 and 2007, has made it clear that he would love to stay on as man­ager be­yond this sea­son, help­ing his cause by win­ning his first five matches in charge.

How­ever, he said that he did not see Sun­day’s match as an au­di­tion for he or Po­chet­tino, who has caught United’s eye by mak­ing Tot­ten­ham top-four reg­u­lars in re­cent sea­sons de­spite lim­ited re­sources.

“It should al­ways be about the play­ers, be­cause it’s not about me. It’s not about him,” said Sol­sk­jaer.

“We don’t kick a ball at all. They kick a ball. Of course, we might make a de­ci­sion here or there, but it’s down to the play­ers to per­form and I’m sure my boys are ready.”

Sol­sk­jaer’s fo­cus since ar­riv­ing back at United has been on im­prov­ing the play­ers’ fit­ness lev­els and on build­ing con­nec­tions with his squad.

A warm-weather train­ing trip to Dubai dur­ing the week was in­tended to help on both fronts, with his play­ers put through a se­ries of rig­or­ous train­ing ex­er­cises and Sol­sk­jaer tak­ing the chance to speak to them on a one-to-one ba­sis.

Sol­sk­jaer was at pains not to crit­i­cise the fit­ness work done by United un­der Mour­inho, in­stead com­par­ing the Dubai trip to the “mini pre-sea­son” the squad used to go through each Jan­uary at Old Traf­ford when he was a player un­der Alex Fer­gu­son. - AFP

Sol­sk­jaer

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