After a whirlwind 48 hours at Manchester United, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was announced as the caretaker manager of the club on December 19 and in his first interview, the Norwegian has vowed to help his players enjoy football again.
Solskjaer sat down with United's media team for his first interview since taking over and having spent 11 years at the club as a player, he was naturally asked about he felt coming back.
Players and supporters need to start enjoying football again
"It feels like I'm coming home, I have to say. It's been a few whirlwind days, of course, very hectic, but just great to see everyone again," Solskjaer said.
"We'll get the players enjoying football and I'm looking forward to seeing the supporters again. You've got this squad – an amazing squad – we've got 23-24 players. They are all quality and they'll all get a chance now with the amount of games coming up. They've got a chance to show they are Man United players," Solskjaer said when quizzed about how he would like to leave a mark in his short stay of 6 months at the club.
Old Trafford is home
Solskjaer then went on to reminisce his debut appearance at Old Trafford and how the place quickly became home for him. He wants his current set of players to feel the same comfort.
"On my debut [in 1996], when I came on and scored [against Blackburn Rovers], I turned around and Eric [Cantona] was the first one celebrating with me. It's a strange, strange feeling but then suddenly it became part of you and it was home. You looked forward to coming out of Old Trafford and you felt comfortable there and that's how you want the players to be."
"I think it's more about having the players being proud of their performance and the supporters being proud when we walk off the pitch."
Inspired by Sir Alex Ferguson
Solskjaer was then asked about his style of management and how he evolved over the years.
"I'm getting to know the occupation, but it's about man-management – it's about managing the players, managing people, managing the staff, talking to everyone and getting the best out of everyone. I have to say I've had the best as teacher – the boss [Sir Alex Ferguson] is and will always be the best at how you manage people. Lots of my management evolves around what I learnt from him.
'If you're good enough, you're old enough'
The inevitable question regarding United's culture of promoting youth to the first team was asked and Solskjaer sounded very excited about carrying on the tradition.
"That's our identity. It doesn't just go back to the Class of '92, it goes back even further than Sir Alex and back to Sir Matt Busby. He had a saying and I'll never forget it – if you're good enough, you're old enough."
"I really hope that I can be a part of that tradition and there are some great youngsters coming through, I have to say."
The most obvious topic came up next and it was about Solskjaer's winning goal in stoppage time that won United the 1999 Champions League final and the club's only treble in the process.
"That [the 1999 Champions League final] was the best night of my life. It was a great night. Twenty years on 26 May! It's been 20 years – it's unbelievable how time flies."
Will play the Manchester United way
Solskjaer was then asked to describe the club to those who might need initiation to Manchester United.
"Man United is the model. You have family, it's tradition, it's history, giving youth a chance, attacking football and winning. It's unbelievable how much it's developed since I came in 1996 – it's huge. The biggest club in the world, the best club in the world, the best supporters in the world and we've got the best players in the world."
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer certainly gets what it means to be a part of Manchester United and the fans will certainly hope that the players buy into his philosophy to make Old Trafford a happy place once again.