Sol­sk­jaer ac­cepts Po­chet­tino clam­our

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Football - By James Ducker

Ole Gun­nar Sol­sk­jaer has ad­mit­ted there is good rea­son why Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino is in the frame to be­come the next Manch­ester United man­ager – and po­ten­tially dash his own dream of land­ing the job.

Po­chet­tino is the favourite to take over at Old Traf­ford in the sum­mer and will face his suit­ors on Sun­day when United play his Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur side at Wem­b­ley.

But Sol­sk­jaer is hop­ing to do enough to con­vince United’s board to hand him the job on a per­ma­nent ba­sis, af­ter his ap­point­ment as care­taker man­ager in the wake of Jose Mour­inho’s sack­ing last month.

Sol­sk­jaer has won his first five games but un­der­stands why Po­chet­tino, for whom United would have to pay as much as £34 mil­lion in com­pen­sa­tion to prise him from Spurs, is a wanted man.

“That spec­u­la­tion [about the United job] is there for a rea­son, be­cause he [Po­chet­tino] has done well, but my fo­cus is on me and my team,” Sol­sk­jaer said.

Tot­ten­ham rep­re­sent the tough­est test yet for Sol­sk­jaer’s United, who ar­rived back from Dubai last night af­ter a six-day train­ing camp in the Mid­dle East.

Paul Pogba has been passed fit to play fol­low­ing a knee in­jury suf­fered against New­cas­tle that forced the France mid­fielder to miss the FA Cup win over Read­ing and join up late with his United team-mates in Dubai. “He did have some prob­lems but came through the last cou­ple of ses­sions well, so he should be OK,” Sol­sk­jaer said.

The care­taker man­ager has adopted a more at­tack­ing ap­proach than Mour­inho and has in­sisted that will not change against Spurs.

“You al­ways adapt to any op­po­nent. They are one of the best in the league, so we have to be aware of their strengths, but I have been brought up … we need to at­tack teams,” he said.

“That is our strength – go­ing for­ward, at­tack­ing. We are not go­ing to get as many chances to at­tack against these as we had be­fore, so

Care­taker: Ole Gun­nar Sol­sk­jaer has won his first five games in charge of United when we have the ball we have to be ready to play well with it.”

Asked if this was United’s first real test af­ter games against Cardiff, Hud­der­s­field, Bournemouth, New­cas­tle and Read­ing that yielded 16 goals, Sol­sk­jaer said: “Ev­ery game you get tested, but this is against a top side. If we want to go closer and get past them, we need a good per­for­mance – and a good re­sult.”

Mar­cos Rojo’s fu­ture at United looks in­creas­ingly bleak, with Sol­sk­jaer re­veal­ing that the de­fender has re­turned home to Ar­gentina in a bid to clear his mind af­ter his in­jury prob­lems.

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