Solskjaer only looking forward despite record-equalling start to reign

By Simon Peach, Press Association Chief Football Writer

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has emulated Sir Matt Busby’s historic start to life in the Manchester United hotseat, but the caretaker boss is more interested in improving performances than breaking records right now.

Parachuted into the dugout after Jose Mourinho’s tumultuous reign was brought to an end last month, the 1999 treble winner has overseen victories in his first five matches in all competitions.

Only Busby had managed that feat in United’s medal-laden history, but the man in charge until the summer is not getting carried away.

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

READ MORE: Fabregas gave emotional speech after final Chelsea game

READ MORE: Under-pressure Puel defends FA Cup selection

READ MORE: Dortmund director backs Pulisic to be worth every penny at Chelsea

Wins continue to come for Solskjaer (Martin Rickett/PA)
Wins continue to come for Solskjaer (Martin Rickett/PA)

“I don’t care – not now,” Solskjaer said. “I might sit down in 20 years’ time and look at whatever records I have. I never look back. Never ever.

“When I’m in a position, I never look back on what I’m doing that way.

“Yeah, you reflect and you try to improve but you never get complacent and think ‘I’ve done this or that, I’ve done well’.”

It is a refreshing approach given predecessor Mourinho seemed to point to his CV whenever the chips were down.

United beat Reading on Saturday (Martin Rickett/PA)
United beat Reading on Saturday (Martin Rickett/PA)

Solskjaer’s focus on improving the players at his disposal is also striking, with the group speaking glowingly of a manager who has helped cut the gap to the Champions League spots down to six points.

“I’m not going to say top-four is our target because my target is the next game, but my target is also a certain way of playing,” the Norwegian said.

“That certain way of playing will get us to where we belong in the end.

“I can’t say ‘if we get top-four it’s a success, if we don’t it’s not a success’, it depends on the performances.”

Solskjaer’s fifth win came in Saturday’s FA Cup third-round tie against Reading – a tougher-than-expected 2-0 victory followed by a dash to the airport and flight to Dubai for a warm-weather training camp.

Focus out there will predominantly be on Sunday’s trip to Tottenham, when United have the chance to atone for September’s 3-0 loss to the side coached by United target Mauricio Pochettino.

“You never like to lose games but I don’t think you look at it as revenge,” Solskjaer said.

“You never do. You’re playing against one of the top teams.

Mauricio Pochettino is United’s next opponent (John Walton/PA)
Mauricio Pochettino is United’s next opponent (John Walton/PA)

“Tottenham have performed fantastically this season, they’ve got a great way of playing.

“But we’re at Wembley, we’re playing against one of the top teams, it doesn’t need motivation. It’s not about what’s happened before. It’s this game and these 90 minutes.”

Asked what he makes of the work done by Pochettino, he said: “They’ve performed really well over a few years now and they’ve been towards the top of the league.

“There will be loads of things we need to look at both as individuals – you’ve got (Harry) Kane, one of the best strikers in the world, (Christian) Eriksen one of the best playmakers, you’ve got Son (Heung-min), (Dele) Alli – and we have to look at the team unit and how we play against them.”

What to read next