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Sir Alex Ferguson

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed he received text messages of advice from Sir Alex Ferguson ahead of his first game in charge of Manchester United. In a new book by Dundee United manager Micky Mellon, entitled The First 100 Days: Lessons in Leadership from the Football Bosses, Solskjaer has detailed how he approached taking charge of the Reds in December 2018 following Jose Mourinho’s departure.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: “We came in just before Christmas. I suppose it was like coming in on loan, it wasn’t like: ‘Come in and change the club and put your stamp on it’. It was ‘come in, you know the club, you know the expectations, make them smile, play attacking football and give youth a chance.’ We talked about high expectations, having some fun and even surprising a few people. Later that day I remember walking about and hearing people saying: ‘finally, we’re talking about being Manchester United again. That night was the staff do. I went along, made a bit of a speech and had a bit of a dance. Before our first game at Cardiff, I got a text from the manager [Ferguson], who said ‘pick your team and sleep well’. I sent him the players I was picking and I just got a message back: ‘That’ll do the job’.”

Reflecting on the changes he did make to United, Solskjaer pointed to a switch in system in a 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur in January 2019. He also detailed a change in mentality after opting to tell his players to wear suits ahead of the game..

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: “We made two big changes. The first one was our system for the game against Tottenham. The second big thing was to bring back the pre-match suits: those Tottenham players looked at them and thought ‘I want to play for Manchester United’.”

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