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Dublin: 11 °C Monday 17 June, 2019

'Give someone time, especially if it's a kid from the club' - Van Persie urges patience for Solskjaer

The former Man United star says the Norwegian deserves a chance to turn the club’s fortunes around despite a poor end to the season.

Van Persie believes that Man United are just going through a rough patch.
Van Persie believes that Man United are just going through a rough patch.
Image: Martin Rickett

OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER should be given time to turn Manchester United’s fortunes around, says former Red Devils striker Robin van Persie.

Solskjaer made a flying start to life in charge at Old Trafford after succeeding Jose Mourinho, initially on a caretaker basis, in December.

The Norwegian won 14 of his first 17 games in charge to reignite the club’s top-four hopes as well as a dramatic comeback against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.

That fine run prompted United bosses to offer Solskjaer a permanent three-year contract in March.

However, United’s form dipped dramatically and eight defeats out of their final 12 matches saw them exit the Champions League and miss out on a place in the top four, ultimately finishing sixth.

That has put Solskjaer’s position under scrutiny even at this early stage in his tenure.

However, Van Persie in insistent that Solskjaer is the right man for the job and has called for patience.

“I think it’s the perfect match, it’s just they’re having a bad spell,” he told BBC Sport.

“Back in the day it was normal for a manager to get time. Nowadays if you lose six games, you’re out. Is that the solution?

Give someone time, especially if it’s a kid from the club. It’s funny because when he started everyone was so positive, they were winning and they made a miracle by beating PSG.

“Everyone was screaming like, ‘Give the guy a permanent deal’. And then since that permanent deal the luck went away a little bit; they’ve been losing more games than they want to.

“But he got a three-year deal and everyone should look at the bigger picture. His presence, the way he presents the club, is the proper way in my opinion. He’s positive, he wants to achieve big things with the club and that is the only way forward.”

Van Persie believes Solskjaer’s close association with the club, having been both a player and coach, makes him the ideal man to take the team forward, citing comparisons with legendary former boss Sir Alex Ferguson.

He’s a man of the club, he played there for more than 10 years, he won the Champions League – actually his goal got them the Champions League – so he has a big part over the years at the club,” he added.

“He’s been a coach of the reserves, he is Manchester United. Similar, in a different way, to [Sir Alex] Ferguson. He was Manchester United and Solskjaer is Manchester United as well.

“Everyone has that at a certain time. He had a fantastic first period – now the last 12 games have been tough. OK, but next season they have to pick themselves up and go again.”

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