| 1.9°C Dublin

Exclusive 'He is doing the best he can' - Man United old boys leap to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's defence


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Photo: Rui Vieira - Pool/Getty Images

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Photo: Rui Vieira - Pool/Getty Images

Getty Images

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Photo: Rui Vieira - Pool/Getty Images

Manchester United legends Andy Cole and Wes Brown believes their former team-mate Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will silence the critics who have been calling for his departure by guiding the club to a successful season.

Solskjaer's position has been the subject of constant debate in recent months, as he has failed to guide United to trophy success in his two years at the helm and suffered some huge setbacks in the opening weeks of this season.

After all the negativity around the club following their Champions League exit earlier this month, United could move to within touching distance of leaders Liverpool at the top of the table if they win their two games in hand and 1999 Treble winner Cole suggests Solskjaer should be given time to take the club forward.

“Manchester United are definitely not contenders for winning the Premier League this season, but Ole is under too much pressure considering the position they are in," Cole told sundayworld.com.

“The priority for Manchester United now is to qualify for the Champions League and to hope to have a good cup run in a domestic competition. The pressure really is on for Manchester United to finish in the top four and qualify for the Champions League on a consistent basis again, which is maybe hard to say after the years of success with Sir Alex Ferguson.

“Qualifying for the Champions League must become the norm and the minimal expectation again before the club can move forwards. The best players want to play in the Champions League and without that consistency, there’s not enough clarity to build a squad signing the best players and keeping the best players. It’s been one step forwards and two steps back in recent years.

Brown, who won five Premier League titles and two Champions League trophies in his time at United, also spoke on the season how the season has been going for United so far and shared his thoughts on Solskjaer who said.

“I feel he is doing the best he can," declared Brown. "They have been up and down, and you don't know what you are going to get from week to week, but they are in a much better place now than they were a month ago.

"The home form clearly needs to improve, and they are conceding too many goals, but Ole has come a long way in his time as United manager. The Man United job is one of the hardest in the world because of the expectations that go with it and he needs to find the consistency that is expected in this job.

"After Christmas, you know where you stand in the Premier League and we need to see them kick on in the second half of the season.

"No manager who comes in will find the Manchester United job easy. They have had some very high-profile managers in recent years, and they didn't find it easy, so this is a moment to back Ole and see where he can take the team."

Brown also gave his view on Edinson Cavani's role at United, as he suggested the veteran Uruguayan will be a great mentor for young strikers Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood.

"Rashford, Martial and Greenwood are the players who can be at United for years to come and we can all see the potential they have got," he added.

"Martial is still a young lad and Canavi has come in to help the development of the younger players. We know that he is a top player and will make contributions this season, as he did in the win at Southampton, but he is not the long-term solution for United.

"We know the capabilities of the three younger lads and maybe they can look at Cavani, how he gets himself into the box and his scoring record, they can only improve being around him."

BT Sport will screen a host of Premier League games over the Christmas period and Irish viewers can watch the action with a Sports Extra package.

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

Online Editors