Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reveals Sir Alex Ferguson contact over Manchester United job
Solskjaer "making notes" on Ferguson since 2003: "I just want to be similar".
By James Dale
Last Updated: 21/12/18 3:08pm
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed he has taken advice from "mentor" Sir Alex Ferguson since taking over as Manchester United caretaker manager.
The former United striker, who replaced Jose Mourinho on Wednesday, was given a position in Ferguson's coaching staff in 2007 after he retired as a player and became reserve team boss before departing for Norwegian side Molde.
Ferguson's success was built around the faith he showed in the Class of '92, and Solskjaer says he "just wants to be similar" - challenging the current United crop to "be the kids that love to play football".
Solskjaer plans to use years of studying Ferguson's management style to remind the squad to once again "play without fear".
"He's influenced me with everything," Solskjaer said in his first press conference at United, ahead of facing Cardiff on Saturday.
"The way he's dealt with people, the way he was manager of the club, how he kept 25 international players happy and hungry, wanting to improve, and the staff.
"He's been my mentor. I didn't understand early on he would be my mentor. Ever since my injury in 2003, I was making all the notes what he did in certain situations.
Christmas is for football
Get Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Football for just £18 a month
"I've already been in touch with him - there's no one better to get advice from."
Mourinho only signed a new two-year contract until 2020 earlier this year but his troubled season began when he publicly criticised the United board for not backing him in the summer transfer market.
Public criticism of his players followed, while fractures in his relationship with Paul Pogba began to emerge in September and the France World Cup winner was stripped of the vice-captaincy before Sky Sports News filmed them having an animated disagreement on the training ground.
Solskjaer insists he will have a say on January transfers at the club, but he will be focused on adapting the man-management philosophy of Ferguson, who he spent 11 years playing under.
"My job is to help the players and make them grasp the opportunity," said Solskjaer, who came off the bench to score the winner in United's 1999 Champions League final victory against Bayern Munich.
"They all want to be part of Man United. I'm going to be here to help them.
"It's down to man management, I had the best manager as a player and a coach to learn how he deals with people. It's about communication - I'll sit down with the ones not playing, what I expect from them.
"When you're at Man United there are certain demands - and one of them is to be a team player.
"I don't think anyone has been on the bench more than me so that's always my comeback to players - you never know, you might come on and make an impact, grab the chance when you get it, and they all will get a chance."
When asked about getting the best out of Pogba, who has not started any of United's last four games, Solskjaer said his aim is to get "every player to their best".
"No matter what team, what players you're coaching, they all want a picture of how you're going to play," he added.
"These are quality, quality players so it will be easier to get these players expressing themselves.
"Be the kids that love to play football and go out in front of the best fans in the world."
"We play at Man United - you play without fear, with courage, you go out there, express your skills. I've had the best."
Solskjaer pointed to Ferguson's final game in charge, a 5-5 draw against West Brom, as "the perfect end" for the club's most successful manager.
"You don't want to concede five but that was almost the perfect end for him as a manager, the way he played football," he said.
"I just want to be similar. Be the kids that love to play football and go out in front of the best fans in the world. Good players are easier to coach than bad players."