IS POCH A SE­CRET FAN OF UNITED?

‘NO CHANGE’ FOR OLE AS UNITED PRE­PARE FOR SPURS TRIP

Manchester Evening News - - FRONT PAGE - By SA­MUEL LUCKHURST

OLE Gun­nar Sol­sk­jaer has praised Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino’s man-man­age­ment as the con­tenders for the per­ma­nent United man­ager’s role pre­pare to face each other.

Care­taker coach Sol­sk­jaer takes the Reds to Tot­ten­ham to­mor­row hav­ing presided over five wins from five since he re­placed Jose Mour­inho on De­cem­ber 19.

Although Sol­sk­jaer was ap­pointed on an in­terim ba­sis un­til the end of the sea­son, the Reds’ dras­tic up­turn in form has en­hanced his chances of be­ing made man­ager on a full-time ba­sis.

De­spite Sol­sk­jaer’s im­pres­sive start, Po­chet­tino’s Spurs are just six points adrift of Premier League lead­ers Liver­pool and are com­pet­ing on all four fronts.

They beat Chelsea 1-0 in the first leg of their League Cup semi-fi­nal and could take on City in the Wem­b­ley fi­nal next month.

Po­chet­tino was Sir Alex Fer­gu­son’s choice to re­place Louis van Gaal as United man­ager in 2016 and of­fered the Ar­gen­tinian ad­vice dur­ing a lun­cheon in London two weeks be­fore Mour­inho was in­stalled.

Sol­sk­jaer in­vited Fer­gu­son to United’s train­ing ground at Car­ring­ton last month and has openly said he will lean on the Scot be­tween now and May.

Sol­sk­jaer said last week he would speak with ex­ec­u­tive vice-chair­man Ed Wood­ward about United’s plans for the re­main­der of the sea­son but clar­i­fied his own sit­u­a­tion has not been touched upon.

“No, we’ve not had that con­ver­sa­tion,” Sol­sk­jaer said. “You don’t plan five or six months ahead and then sud­denly after two weeks change that. No, noth­ing’s changed.

“We just keep work­ing ev­ery sin­gle day on im­prov­ing the team here. I work with a fan­tas­tic coach­ing staff, I have to say. We’ll put a plan to­gether on how we want to look the next few months.”

When asked what qual­i­ties had en­abled Po­chet­tino to ex­cel at Spurs, Sol­sk­jaer added: “I can’t re­ally com­ment be­cause I’ve been sat on the out­side too much. I’ve only met him once my­self [when Cardiff played at Southamp­ton in 2014]. He was a very nice man to speak to and we had a nice chat.

“He’s prob­a­bly a very good man-man­ager, but you’ve got to ask some­one else. From the out­side, he looks like that any­way.

“He’s got good play­ers, it’s the same with me.

“It’s eas­ier to play an at­tack­ing way and your way when you’ve got good play­ers, and he’s got lots of good play­ers.”

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