'Tottenham not make or break for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer', says Charlie Nicholas
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Last Updated: 13/01/19 10:36pm
Sunday's trip to Wembley is not make or break for caretaker Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, according to Charlie Nicholas.
The Norwegian has won all five games he has been in temporary charge of, including four in the Premier League to help keep United in contention for a place in the top four come the end of the campaign.
As things currently stand, United are six points behind fourth-placed Chelsea in the final Champions League berth, but defeat at the home of football to a Spurs side going for the title would not be disastrous for Solskjaer, says Nicholas.
"I generally do not think this is a make-or-break situation for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer because if both teams play well, Spurs should win this football match," the former Arsenal and Scotland striker told The Debate.
"And I think if he were to lose this, Solskjaer, I do not think it will be a problem for him.
"The thing that he has done instantly is he has got the support of the fans behind him and back on board - they were starting to dwindle at Old Trafford.
"The players will camouflage it, as they will tell you, 'We could not wait to get rid of Jose Mourinho', but they told us at the time that they were not really interested in what the manager's situation was.
"So, they can disguise it. But the important thing is to get the balance right, so even if United lose this game and if you were to pick it at this moment in time, you would pick Spurs to beat this United side, but it is the fact that the fans now believe in Solskjaer.
"They are not a fine side, but you did expect them to kick on a little bit - and at least he has responded.
"So, so far for Ole, it has been great."
However, Ryan Mason believes Sunday afternoon's clash against third-placed Spurs will represent the first big test for Solskjaer since he replaced Mourinho in the Old Trafford dugout.
"The run of fixtures he has had, you would expect a Man Utd side to win those games and full credit to Solskjaer - he has come in and given the players freedom," the ex-Tottenham midfielder said.
"He has dealt with all the press conferences very well as well and created confidence within that group of players.
"But this Tottenham game will be a different game and a bigger challenge because Tottenham are one of the best teams in the Premier League, they are organised and they press."