Solskjaer accepts Pochettino clamour
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.