Manchester United caretaker manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer met with players of the club for the first time, and here is what he told them.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reminded Manchester United’s squad of their ‘unbelievable’ quality and described the group as ‘world class’ during his first training session as caretaker boss, Metro.co.uk can reveal.
The Norwegian arrived in Manchester late on Wednesday night but was the first through the door at United’s training ground on Thursday morning to take first-team training at Carrington.
Solskjaer gathered the squad before the session began and told the group that he was honoured to be taking charge of a ‘world class’ set of players, Metro.co.uk understands.
The 45-year-old singled out Paul Pogba and David De Gea as proof of the squad’s quality, describing the Spanaird as the ‘best goalkeeper in the world’ and the midfielder as a ‘World Cup.
Mourinho had lost the trust of the majority of the dressing room by the time of his sacking on Tuesday and felt Nemanja Matic and Romelu Lukaku were the only players he could confide in.
Ed Woodward, the club’s executive vice-chairman, wanted a caretaker manager that ‘understood’ United’s traditions and felt that Solskjaer could unite the squad and supporters in the remainder of the season.
The Norwegian will be working with Sir Alex Ferguson’s former assistant Mike Phelan as his no.2 at the Theatre of Dreams and he contacted Phelan late on Tuesday to discuss taking the role.
The mood at the Carrington in recent months has been described as ‘toxic’ but Solskjaer’s appointment has re-energised the squad by injecting a feel-good factor back into training.
Solskjaer’s first game in charge is against his former side Cardiff City and the United squad even jokingly promised to beat the Bluebirds for their new boss after he was sacked by the club in 2014.
Despite a chaotic 48 hours, Solskjaer attended United’s staff Chrismas Party on Wednesday night and urged those present to do ‘everything they can’ for the players to put ‘smiles back on faces’.
Solskjaer will be unable to call upon Romelu Lukaku in Wales after the Belgian was granted compassionate leave.
Pogba is expected to be reinstated into United’s starting line-up after being left out for Mourinho’s final game in charge last Sunday at Anfield.