Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first United press conference following the sacking of Jose Mourinho and here is a rough transcript of his answers to the questions asked:
Welcome back, when you got the call was there any doubt in your mind?
No, of course not, I didn’t think twice when they called me to sign me as a player and this is more of an honour and privilege to be helping the club for a few months.
What was said about the job that you have to do?
It’s until the summer now, five or six months to just help out in the meantime while the club does the process to get the next manager.
How have you found the players?
They’re footballers, they’re happy, good mood, every time you meet new people you’re excited, it’s the first time you see them, I know a few, had them in the reserves and they’ve been great.
Was it mentioned whether you could stay? If you do well, you’re such a crowd favourite, people will want you to stay.
When you get a job like this and they ask you to sign for six months you say yeah, I’m happy to help out and my job is to do as well as I can and they understand there are so many managers who would love to be manager of Manchester United, I’m one of them but it’s not something we’ve talked about, they’ll do a process for the next six months.
What happens in January? Will you have an input in that?
I will have an input but the job is to get to know the players, observe them I’ve seen more or less every game from Norway but to get to know the players, what do I think I can improve them on and the club have got the recruitment and scouting, they’ve got their targets but I’ve not sat down and talked about that.
There are some reports Romelu Lukaku won’t be available this weekend?
He’s had a couple of days off, I’ve not seen him yet or Alexis, he’s on his way back as well, so I’m looking forward to seeing them.
How do you go about picking a side for this match when you’ve only been here 24 hours or so?
It’s Michael and Kieran that’s been here for the whole season, they’ve had their say and input but there are so many game over the next 10 or 15 games, it’s about picking a team that is going to get results but every player needs to know they’re going to get their chance, Kieran and Michael have been great, it’s great being back home and seeing the development, Michael, as good a coach and man manager as he is.
How do you rate your chance of making up the gap on the top four?
I think first thing is first game, think about getting my principles into the boys, get the players to understand how I want them to play and let’s take the results later on see how many points we can gather but this club has made many many points before but I’m not going to set that target now.
What was the first thing you did when you got to the manager’s office? Must have been surreal?
Of course it is, I’ve been here as a player, 11 years, coach three and a half years, best part 15 years of my life, it’s a third of my life, I’m getting old but it’s one of them that’s life, that was the same when I signed as a player, Nicky Butt the first lad I meet, says hi to me, you’re excited. It feels like home.
You have a hard job, players might be thinking about the next permanent manager, does that make your job tricky?
My job is to help the players, make them grasp the opportunity, they all wanna be part of Manchester United, I’m here to help them, help the team, down to man management, I had the best manager as a player and coach to deal with players and it’s about communication, I’ll sit down and speak to the ones not playing.
When you’re at Manchester United there are a set of demands and one is to be a team player and I don’t think anyone has been on the bench more than me! That’s all my comeback to players, you might come on make an impact.
How has Sir Alex Ferguson influenced you as a manager?
He’s influenced me with everything to be fair, 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 but also the staff in and around the place, he’s been my mentor but I didn’t understand early on he’d be my mentor.
Towards the last, maybe the injury in 2003, I was making all the notes what he did in certain situations and I’ve already been in touch with him, there’s no one to get better advice from.
Your time at Cardiff didn’t go as you would have hoped, what do you say to fans who are concerned about that?
Definitely, but I’ve had, about 300 or 400 games as first team manager now and that period in Cardiff was a huge step for me and I’ve evaluated, reflected, made a few mistakes but if you don’t make mistakes you’re not gonna learn, I made a few of them, but they’re in the Premier League now.
You say it’s all about man management obviously perhaps some of them haven’t been able to show their full potential, how are you going to get players like Pogba to get to their very best?
It’s about getting very player to the best, speaking to them, training ground, philosophy, principles, how we wanna play, it doesn’t matter what team you’re coaching they all want to have a picture of how you want to play, quality players so it will be easier to get players expressing themselves.
Ferguson would always say you play with courage, go out there and express your skills, he said go out and express, take risks. The last game he had as a manager 5-5, that was almost the perfect end to him as a manager and I want the player to be similar, be the kids that love to play football and go out in front of the best fans in the world.