Solskjaer: Much had to change after Mourinho

15 March 2020 - 00:00 By Daily Telegraph - London
Manchester United Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Manchester United Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Image: UEFA - Handout/UEFA via Getty Images

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes sweeping changes were required at Manchester United after replacing Jose Mourinho - and says he will never bleat about injuries like his predecessor.

Solskjaer's in-form United were due to travel to Tottenham today before the game was called off because of the coronavirus.

Tottenham were beaten 2-1 by United at Old Trafford in December and have failed to win in their past six matches, with Mourinho moaning that no club in the world could cope with the injuries his side has. Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Steven Bergwijn are among their absentees.

But Mourinho's complaints have invited no sympathy from Solskjaer, who has been forced to wrestle with horrendous injury problems of his own and remains without two of his best players, Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba.

Asked about Mourinho's injury troubles and Rashford and Pogba's absence, Solskjaer said: "Yeah, but I don't talk about those two, do I? I want to focus on the ones who are fit and the ones I have got.

"There's a chance for new players to challenge for a place. It's part and parcel of this game that you do have injuries. We've managed well without some of our top players this season."

Mourinho claimed last September that United had got worse under Solskjaer following his sacking as manager in December 2018.

But Solskjaer has made it clear that "a lot" had to change at United in the wake of Mourinho's dismissal and that there were clear signs now of the club moving in the right direction.

Solskjaer has made five signings, including Bruno Fernandes, the �47m midfielder, and Odion Ighalo, who has scored four goals in three starts on loan. He had also promoted a number of academy graduates, including Mason Greenwood and Brandon Williams, and trimmed a bloated squad by offloading a host of underperforming players.

United's 5-0 hammering of LASK in the Europa League on Thursday was their eighth win in the past 11 games, during which time they have scored 29 goals and kept nine clean sheets.

"I felt a lot needed to be changed," Solskjaer said. "We've signed four players [five including Ighalo] and lost quite a few and promoted from within, lots of youngsters.

"I don't know how dramatic those changes have been. I don't think it feels dramatic for the squad and the ones that were here. We needed certain pieces in the puzzle and they've worked.

"I believe that we're going places. I believe that we're on the track that Man United need to be on. There are different cultures at different clubs and different ways of doing things." 

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