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John O'Shea backs former team-mate Solskjaer to take permanent United job

He’s making ‘a hell of an impression to get the job,’ the Reading defender said ahead of their FA Cup clash.

Team-mates: O'Shea and Solskjaer in 2006.
Team-mates: O'Shea and Solskjaer in 2006.
Image: EMPICS Sport

JOHN O’SHEA HAS backed his former team-mate Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to take charge of Manchester United on a permanent basis. 

The former United and Ireland defender will be in action in Old Trafford once again as his Reading side face Solskjaer’s in the third round of the FA Cup on Saturday.

With four wins from four under his belt, Solskjaer has now equaled the record set by Sir Matt Busby for best ever start at the United helm and Waterford native O’Shea believes he can carry that through and continue to succeed on a long-term basis. 

While he’s hoping his side can cause that “upset” in Manchester this weekend, O’Shea is pleased to see things going well at his former club.

“It’s been an amazing start for Ole, it’s been incredible,” the 37-year-old told a Reading press conference today.

Newcastle United v Manchester United - Premier League - St James' Park United beat Newcastle 2-0 last night. Source: Owen Humphreys

“He’s brought enjoyment and that freedom of expression; they’re at Manchester United because they’re good players. That’s the big thing. He’s looked from the outside at what he’s tried to do.

“Knowing Ole, the type of player and person he was, you can see why the board and the club decided to go that way. He’s doing a hell of an impression to get the job, that’s for sure.”

He added of the key elements the Norwegian has brought to the set-up: “It’d be that enjoyment factor, and that professionalism and killer instinct he had.

“That’s definitely been the key. The main thing is to have that enjoyment element and maintaining the standard of what the club and fans hope and expect to see.

Soccer - AXA FA Cup - Final - Manchester United v Millwall The duo with Ruud van Nistelrooy in 2004. Source: John Walton

“They’ve had a run of games where they’ve really put their foot down and gone on and finished teams off as well. Everything he seems to be doing at the minute — he makes a sub and 40 seconds later the sub scores.

“Everything’s going in his favour at the minute, but hopefully…. I hope he remains unbeaten in the league and gets knocked out of the cup!”

With the caretaker boss in place until May, ‘The Baby-Faced Assassin’ has admitted himself that he’d love to stay on.

And O’Shea firmly believes that he could take the job on a permanent basis.

Source: Reading Football Club/YouTube

“Why not? If he keeps that run going, if he has success in — hopefully not the FA Cup — but the Champions League, and carries on the run in the league, he’ll be putting himself right in as a front-runner for the job, that’s for sure.

“He’ll want to carry on that momentum he’s created early on, and he’ll definitely be under consideration. Rightly so, he’ll be thinking about the next games, he won’t be looking too far ahead.

“He said it himself: he’s been brought in until the summer but that can all change very quickly.”

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Emma Duffy

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